Three of the four Republican candidates challenging incumbent Senator Deb Fischer debated at Bellevue University Wednesday night.
But all of them were disappointed the person they are trying to replace wasn’t there.
“Frankly they are just running scared. Because they can't compete in these kind of formats,” said Republican Senate candidate Todd Watson.
“Would be really nice to question the incumbent directly and force her to respond to the issues that we are raising,” said Republican Senate candidate Jack Heidel.
There was even an empty chair left for Sen. Fischer.
“I've always wanted to meet her, and I've only seen her in person. So it would be my pleasure to meet her,” said another Republican Senate candidate Dennis Macek.
The organizer of this so-called GOP grassroots debate, Joe Stephan’s said he was hopeful Sen. Fischer could attend, “This is a chance for Sen. Fischer to shine I mean if she is up 50 points, in the polls she is getting, that's great, this is a time for her to shine.”
Meanwhile these three candidates tried to get the message out on why they want to take Fischer’s seat.
“It's because of our debt, it's enormous, it's out of control. It's getting worse all the time,” said Heidel.
“Because I'm apprehensive about the future, of our country's environment, and our country's financial health,” said Macek.
“My platform is the American platform, it's the constitution, so we need the government to do a much better job in what we are looking for in the government,” added Watson.
Stephans said Senator Fischer shouldn’t hide before the primary and blames the ‘Republican Political Machine’, “Don't insulate yourself Senator Fischer”.
Senator Fischer’s office tells me the organizers invited her on short notice and she had a scheduling conflict.
The primaries are in 13 days.