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Jun 22, 2012 9:33 AM by MTN News

Rehberg misses debate to attend Wyoming campaign event

BILLINGS - New details emerge about the reason behind the cancellation of Sunday's scheduled televised debate between Congressman Denny Rehberg and Senator Jon Tester.

The Montana Broadcasters Association Board of Directors made the decision to reluctantly cancel the event after Rehberg said he would not be able to make Sunday's 9 am broadcast due to a scheduling conflict.

KBZK-TV in Bozeman, now reports that conflict is because Congressman Rehberg will be in Wyoming Saturday to attend a GOP fundraiser with Wyoming republican Senator John Barasso.

Tester's campaign is miffed over the cancellation of the long scheduled debate.

In fact, Thursday it offered up two free tickets to the Sept. 30th Pearl Jam concert in Missoula to the first person to find out where Rehberg will be Saturday, that prevents him from appearing in Sunday's debate.

The Rehberg campaign maintains it was never formally invited to take part in Sunday's debate.

Both campaigns say they're committed to a series of debates in the divisive Senate contest.

Rehberg campaign manager Erik Iverson says they will continue to work with individual Montana broadcasters to put together a robust debate schedule.

Tester campaign manager Preston Elliot says so far, Rehberg has ignored Tester's challenge to join him for six debates this fall, based on several standing invitations from independent organizations across Montana.

Those series of debates would begin in Butte September 5th, with subsequent debates in Helena, Great Falls, Billings, Missoula, wrapping up in Bozeman October 20th.

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