Editorial – Candidate no-shows raise questions in district votes

Published 8:07 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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With early voting well underway, candidates from Senate District 17 and House Districts 84 and 89 have been participating in various forums throughout the voting district. Except, they are not all attending at the same time.

For example, on Thursday, Sept. 28, a forum was held at First Baptist Mahan Church in Suffolk, where only the three Democratic Party candidates participated. Their Republican counterparts were either unable to attend or did not so much as respond to the invitation.

Candidate forums during election season serve several essential purposes as we decide who we want to represent.

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Candidate forums are vital in promoting informed and engaged citizenship, providing a platform for candidates to connect with voters, and ensuring a fair and transparent electoral process. They are an essential component of any democratic election.

Not attending a candidate forum can ensure voters’ access to crucial information, ensure their ability to make informed choices, and reduce the accountability of candidates. Engaging in these forums is a fundamental aspect of the democratic process, ensuring that voters are well-equipped to participate meaningfully in elections.

Schedules are fluid, and with the time and money that goes into a campaign and securing enough votes to win an election, taking a couple of hours out of your evening to answer questions that matter to the voting public is well worth the time. 

Also, suppose we can’t get you to take the time to answer our tough questions in a forum in the face of your opponents. How can we expect you to tackle the challenging issues you encounter as you venture into political office?