Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ritchie campaign dodges debates

Group says candidate ignored its requests


Patricia A. Ritchie is saying she's "absolutely" open to debating her opponent in the 48th state Senate District, but her campaign team is absolutely avoiding the idea.

Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent, challenged Mrs. Ritchie on Friday to debate in each of the district's three counties before the Nov. 2 general election. The two have committed to just one joint appearance: a Friday taping of WPBS-TV's "Public Eye," which is closed to the public and aired at a later date.

Mr. Aubertine committed to an appearance on "Campbell Conversations," a 30-minute forum on public radio station WRVO with Syracuse University political science professor Grant D. Reeher. He also accepted an invitation to an Oct. 18 discussion at SUNY Canton, sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

Mr. Reeher said Mark C. Waldczyk, Mrs. Ritchie's deputy campaign manager, told him his candidate wasn't available at any time for an entire week. The professor had offered to host until 7 p.m. any day late this week or early next week and tape on the weekend if necessary.

Kathleen F. Stein, the League's secretary, said she was "severely annoyed" after four phone calls and four e-mails yielded just one noncommittal answer from Mr. Waldczyk. The group has had to cancel the debate.

Read more from the Watertown Daily Times HERE

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