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Ellison, Fields debate canceled

Posted by: Corey Mitchell under 5th District, Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota congressional Updated: October 22, 2012 - 11:30 AM

A Tuesday debate between Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison and his Republican opponent, Chris Fields, has been canceled.

Days after a live radio debate where Ellison called Fields a "lowlife scumbag" and "gutter dweller" and Fields called Ellison a liar, the two will not meet for their final debate, which was scheduled for Tuesday at the Minneapolis Urban League in north Minneapolis.

The two candidates vying to represent the Fifth Congressional District will instead field questions, during separate interviews, from representatives of the Coalition of Black Churches and African American Leadership Forum this week. Al McFarlane, editor and publisher of weekly newspaper Insight News, will moderate the forums.

Fields' campaign spokeswoman Erica Schumack said that he never agreed to cancel the debate.

"We never agreed to that, nor wanted it," Schumack said Monday.

Ellison, a three-term incumbent, issued a public apology for his comments during last Thursday's debate, saying he acted beneath his "personal standard as a public official." Fields issued a statement that said Ellison "lacks the right temperament" to serve in Congress.

The candidates debated several times before last Thursday's blowup.

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