Two Congressional Hopefuls Hungry for a Debate

In the political-news void that is August, the media have stumbled on two California congressional hopefuls hungry for coverage. And maybe a bagel.

Democrat Ray Lutz and Libertarian Mike Benoit have banded together—a feat unto itself for two contenders for the same seat—in a hunger strike to demand a debate with their incumbent Republican opponent, Duncan Hunter, who is refusing to square off with them until October, Politico reports.

Hunter's campaign spokesman, Dave Gilliard, said the debate will be on Oct. 15. If the congressman's opponents continue to strike, he hopes they can hold out until then. "This is basically just a publicity stunt," he says.

Fourteen pounds lighter and one enema later, Lutz says he will strike a little while longer, but admits the cause isn't worth dying for, according to the Politico report. He added in an interview with The Atlantic that the incumbent has a name that differs from the incument's father's by only the middle initial—the current representative is Duncan D. Hunter, his father is Duncan L. Hunter—and that the elder Hunter was the 52nd Congressional District's representative for 28 years. Lutz said he believes the junior Hunter has been avoiding media exposure so he can rely on the inherent benefit of being not only an incumbent, but one with an already well-known name.

When asked if his hunger tactics were working, Lutz pointed out that media outlets had not been calling him before the strike.

When Hunter does finally debate Lutz and Benoit, apparently after their attention-getting tactic, what's on the table is expected to be of a political, and not a palatable, nature.