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House District 68 candidate Ben Diamond proposes debate with Democratic challenger Eric Lynn

House District 68 candidate Ben Diamond on Wednesday challenged his fellow Democratic opponent Eric Lynn to a friendly debate on the issues ahead of the Aug. 30 primary.

Diamond, 37, a St. Petersburg attorney and Lynn, 38, a former Department of Defense official and Obama campaign staffer, are vying for the district that covers much of St. Petersburg and Pinellas Park, Lealman and Feather Sound. One will face Republican Joseph "JB" Bensmihen, 47, in the Nov. 8 election.

In an email to Lynn this morning, Diamond wrote:

Dear Mr. Lynn,

With Primary Election Day fast approaching, I wanted to extend an invitation for us to offer the voters of District 68 a debate series to afford them a better opportunity to learn from us about our vision for our community.

I believe it is important that Pinellas residents hear directly from us about why we are running for the Florida House, our platforms for work in state government, and how we will address the issues that matter to the voters in Tallahassee.

In looking at the calendar ahead, I would recommend working with a diverse coalition of groups to host the debates and propose that we agree to a series of five to seven debates.

I am confident that our dedicated campaign teams can work together to finalize the details of dates, organizations to host the debates and locations.

Since time is short, I would recommend that we set a deadline of this Friday to determine the immediate next steps.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Ben Diamond 

In an email response to the Times, Lynn said he's game for a debate since "discussion of policy is my passion." He plans to lay out his vision for education, transportation and womens' health rights and is committed to informing voters about the issues in a positive way. 

No date has been set so far, but Lynn suggested the Pinellas League of Women Voters as a venue.

"We probably don't need to spend more time speaking with each other than speaking directly with voters, but I agree that a couple more debates would make sense," Lynn said. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 6, 2016 7:16pm]


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