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A pair of targeted freshman California Democrats are as eager as their Republican challengers to debate in the general election.

Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, issued a press release the day after the June 3 primary saying he hoped Republican Doug Ose would agree to a debate "so that the voters get the opportunity to see where we stand."

Ose is also ready to debate, saying on election night he's willing to engage "anytime, anywhere." On Thursday, he sent a formal letter to his rival inviting him to a series of five debates because "the issues facing our great nation are too important to be left to 30-second TV ads and sound bites."

Challengers, who have less to lose, most often push hardest for debates. But it certainly isn't unheard of for incumbents to demand engagement.

In San Diego, Rep. Scott Peters, D-San Diego, upped the ante the day after the primary, prodding Republican Carl DeMaio to participate in 10 debates, including five issue-specific forums.

DeMaio, who even before the primary signaled his willingness to stand toe-to-toe, said he looked forward to working out a debate schedule.

Editor's Note: This post was recast at 4:36 p.m. June 13, 2014 to reflect that Ose suggested a debate on the night of the election.

PHOTO: Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, attends his primary election party with supporters at Lamppost Pizza on June 3 in Elk Grove. The Sacramento Bee/Paul Kitagaki Jr.


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