First Congressional District hopefuls former Gov. Mark Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert Busch were supposed to face off April 17, but the debate sponsors are now looking for a new date after Colbert Busch said she could not make it.

Sanford accused Colbert Busch of doing voters a disservice by dodging debates.

“We have a candidate who is running what some would call a stealth campaign – dodging debates and public appearances, and refusing to answer one of this campaign’s central questions: is she on the side of those who would create jobs in South Carolina, or the side of those who would seek to take them away?” Sanford said.

Officials at AARP’s South Carolina state office learned Wednesday that Colbert Busch had a conflict and could not make the April 17 debate, which was going to be aired live on WCBD-TV 2.

Patrick Cobb of AARP said, “We are greatly disappointed that Ms. Colbert Busch has cited a conflict and cannot arrange her schedule to participate.” He said the group and WCBD would try to find an alternate date.

Other organizations are trying to arrange face-to-face meetings between the two on April 29 and 30 — just a week before the May 7 special election.

Read more in tomorrow’s Post and Courier.