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Alp Basaran Challenges Bill Pascrell and Zina Spezakis to a Virtual Debate

Alpaslan “Alp” Basaran, a formerly undocumented American Muslim running for Congress in the 9th District of New Jersey, challenged Bill Pascrell, the incumbent Democratic 2020 electionCongressperson, and Zina Spezakis to a virtual debate in an open letter. Alp Basaran was recently endorsed by Blake Michael, another progressive candidate for Congress who dropped out in favor of Alp Basaran in order to avoid splitting the progressive vote.

With two months remaining until the June 2, 2020 Democratic Party primaries in New Jersey, the candidates must settle on a format for future debates. “We are hoping that circumstances will eventually change, but for now we should have a virtual debate through a videoconference for the safety of all of our candidates,” said Alp Basaran.

Alp Basaran believes that a virtual debate will provide the candidates with a safe environment to honor our democratic traditions because the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage our society. “I live next door to my elderly parents, and I am extremely concerned for them to the point where I regularly leave groceries at their door. I want to be absolutely clear that I am not asking Congressman Pascrell to appear in person,” said Alp Basaran.

Alp Basaran believes that the country will weather this storm and this election cycle. “Near the end of the War of 1812, the British marched into Washington D.C. and burned the White House, the U.S. Capitol, and nearly every other public building to the ground. Nonetheless, we still held Congressional elections a few months later. We lived by our democratic ideals then, we must live by them now,” said Alp Basaran.

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Thank you,

Clyde Lederman
Communications Director, Alp Basaran for Congress