It’s become a bit of a he-said-she-said situation between state Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, and the man hoping to take his job, state Rep. Fred Clark, D-Baraboo.

The issue? Whether Clark has contacted Olsen about entering into a debate.

The “debate about debating” began sometime last week, when Clark apparently told a news outlet that he’d contacted Olsen about having a debate, but had not heard back from Olsen.

Then Olsen’s campaign manager sent out a press release early this week, refuting Clark and calling his claims “ridiculous.”

“The Olsen campaign never received a single phone call or e-mail inviting Sen. Olsen to a debate,” said Jeff Weigand, Olsen’s campaign manager. “Sen. Olsen and myself only found out about Fred Clark’s challenge when reporters contacted us asking for comment.”

Clark then called the Commonwealth Tuesday night to disagree with this statement.

“I personally called Luther at noon [last week Monday],” Clark said. “I’ve yet to hear back from him. I followed up with a letter to him and his campaign manager.”

Olsen was unavailable this morning (Wednesday) to respond, as he was in a Joint Finance Committee meeting.

Read the full story in the June 2, 2011 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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