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Michelle Nunn won't participate in the January Senate debate

U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, a Georgia Democrat, has declined to participate in the January 27th Senate candidate forum hosted by the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), according to Tuesday's report by Jim Galloway of Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC).

With Dave Lee, Brand Manager, Bounty and Michelle Nunn, CEO Points of Light and Co-Founder HandsOn Network, actress Gabrielle Union announced the Bounty 'Make a Clean Difference' program in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2013.
With Dave Lee, Brand Manager, Bounty and Michelle Nunn, CEO Points of Light and Co-Founder HandsOn Network, actress Gabrielle Union announced the Bounty 'Make a Clean Difference' program in Washington, D.C. on April 20, 2013. Photo by Paul Morigi

“I think right now I’ll focus on what you’re seeing me do today – mobilizing supporters and engaging voters," Nunn told AJC's Greg Bluestein at a campaign event in Athens. "There will be plenty of time to debate when we get to the spring.”

Nunn is a Peach State Democrat hoping to replace Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga) who is retiring at the end of the year.

The race for the Georgia Senate seat is gaining a lot of national attention. Georgia is expected to move out of the reliable Republican column within the next few years due to changing demographics.

Some more optimistic Democrats hope the switch will take place this year, and that Georgia will help the party keep the Senate majority in 2015.

Republicans have eight candidates running for the seat, including U.S. Reps. Paul Broun, Jack Kingston, Phil Gingrey, and former Secretary of State Karen Handel.

The Senate contest will be competitive, but for Nunn the competitive part will likely only show up in the general election.

Nunn has two Democratic opponents, Branko “Dr. Rad” Radulovacki, a psychiatrist, and former state Sen. Steen Miles, but she is the favorite and Georgia Democrats hardly even acknowledge the other two candidates.

Given the situation, Nunn has little reason to appear in any primary debates. As a candidate with no political record, she has everything to lose and very little to gain in that environment.

"From the beginning, I’ve said the U.S. Senate race should not be an anointing," said Nunn's opponent Dr. Radulovacki. "For that reason, I do my best say yes to every invitation to meet with voters, hear their concerns and tell them my positions. And, of course, I participate in every candidate forum or debate. I think Nunn is avoiding forums and direct questions because she doesn’t want to be pinned down on the specifics of her views.

"She's afraid to stand for something because she risks alienating people. But that risk-averse approach does a disservice to voters.”

The GMA scheduled the Senate debates during the 2014 Mayors' Day Conference, which will be attended by at least 800 leaders from across Georgia.