Steny Hoyer has ignored multiple requests to debate progressive challenger Mckayla Wilkes, according to an email sent out by the Wilkes campaign on Thursday.

We knew that the Democratic establishment feared our movement… but even we’re surprised at just how scared they actually are.

Over the last few weeks, Rep. Hoyer’s office has ignored multiple formal requests from our campaign to debate. The Washington Post has even agreed to moderate one, but still, Hoyer has declined to participate.

During a recent telephone town-hall, a 5th District resident asked him about whether he would debate Mckayla, and he had an absurd response: “I go to my grocery store almost every week, there’s hardly a time I go to the grocery store and someone doesn’t come up and talk to me…. I think that there’s not gonna be any confusion in the voters’ minds about where Steny Hoyer stands on the issues.”

Hoyer’s reluctance to debate Wilkes is no doubt influenced by debates between Joe Crowley and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In those debates, Crowley positioned himself as the best person to stand up to Trump, while Ocasio-Cortez said “It’s not enough to fight Trump. We have to fight the issues that made his rise in the first place.”

The Wilkes campaign has launched a petition demanding Hoyer agree to a debate, with over 190 signatures at the time this article was written.

While Hoyer’s fear of debating Wilkes does a disservice to those he represents, it shows that Wilkes campaign is rattling the establishment.