Rokita will skip televised Indiana GOP Senate debate

The U.S. Capitol in Washington on Thursday night, Feb. 8, 2018. The Senate passed a budget deal and spending measure to reopen the shuttered federal government early Friday morning, sending the bill to the House. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita has decided to skip a televised debate planned for next month with the two other candidates seeking the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.

The nonprofit Indiana Debate Commission announced Friday that U.S. Rep. Luke Messer and former state Rep. Mike Braun had agreed to the April 30 debate that will be made available to TV stations throughout the state.

The debate will come the week before the May 8 primary that will determine the GOP challenger to Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly.

Rokita’s campaign says it believes GOP primary debates should be hosted by conservative and Republican organizations and not involve what it calls “leftist propaganda and gotcha questions from liberal media figures.”

The Indiana Debate Commission event is being moderated by conservative Indianapolis radio commentator Abdul Hakim-Shabazz.