(FOX 2) - It doesn't look like Michigan's acrimonious election cycle in the race for attorney general will get any nicer after the Democratic incumbent said she would not debate her Republican challenger.
Dana Nessel said she declined offers to debate Matt DePerno in part because her office referred a case against the candidate over election tabulator mishandling.
In a statement, Nessel said she couldn't comment on the case and it would likely be a subject during the debate, saying "I am obligated to refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused, or which may materially prejudice an adjudicative proceeding."
DePerno "has made numerous statements" about the case and Nessel believes he would "interject on this subject, whether asked about it or not. And in abiding by my oath of office, I will — for all intents and purposes — be drawn into a boxing match with one hand tied behind my back, unable to speak about the matter and unable to repudiate any untruthful or misleading statements Mr. DePerno may assert."
She also said she wouldn't engage with DePerno because he "has a propensity to engage in name-calling, and in utilizing racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, and misogynistic rhetoric and imagery."
DePerno responded later Wednesday, saying "Drunk Dana refused to debate me because she knows that she can't defend her lackluster record of rising crime and demanding for a drag queen in every school."
The state attorney general requested a special prosecutor oversee the conspiracy probe that alleges DePerno, a western Michigan sheriff, a current Republican lawmaker, and six others gained unlawful access to election tabulators in a bogus search for evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
DePerno has made multiple statements about whether he had access of voter tabulators during the probe, including telling FOX 2 during an episode of Let It Rip that he was not in possession of a voter tabulator.