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Martinez: Let's debate

Former Hialeah mayor Raul Martinez -- who is challenging Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart for re-election -- says he's accepted an invitation from Univision-23 (WLTV Miami) to participate in a congressional debate Oct. 1st.

"I look forward to the opportunity to present my vision for change to the voters of District 21," Martinez said. "South Floridians need solutions to lower the cost of healthcare and gas and get us out of Iraq, not a rubberstamp for President Bush's failed policies."

Diaz-Balart cited a scheduling conflict for turning down a May debate planned by the South Florida AFL-CIO, and Martinez says he's suggested to Univision that if Diaz-Balart doesn't want to participate, "the debate should still occur with 'una silla vacía' or an empty seat.

Diaz-Balart's campaign says it's been in touch with Univision about the prospects for a debate.