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The Saratogian Newsroom blog, complete with thoughts and commentary from our newsroom staff and regular posts on happenings around town.

Thursday, October 11

Coming Soon! Andrews V. Marchione debate 

The two will be facing off in a League of Women Voters forum next week, but there is no debate scheduled in the 26 days to the election between Dem. Robin Andrews and Rep. Kathy Marchione. 

Andrews said she requested one, but Marchione declined.

Andrews said she is "very disappointed."

"I think there are a lot of differences between us and I think it is only fair to let the voters see them," she said Wednesday. 

On the other side, Marchione Spokesperson Ken Girardin said he hasn't ruled a debate out, but one has not been scheduled.

After I pointed out that we're working with four weeks (when I wavered on that, checking the calendar, he quickly said "27 days.") until the election, he said the Roy McDonald v. Marchione debate was pulled together in nine days "in the heat of the final days of the primary."

Otherwise, he said "We're pleased with what the League is putting together." He said they have "talked to the League about loosening up the format" so that each candidate will respond to the questions. But he said "I can't speak to" whether there will be any more.

This isn't the first time Marchione has declined a debate or forum. Many will remember she passed on a previous League of Women Voters forum with Roy McDonald and Conservative-line challenger Edward Gilbert. At that point, she accused (and Roy never denied) McDonald of helping to get Gilbert on the ballot to muddy the waters for her. Still, many were upset she didn't attend, though she did attend one the following week. 

For my money, I'd say there probably won't be another debate scheduled before the election. 

Marchione has more name recognition — at least in this county and probably Rensselaer, but I couldn't speak to Columbia County. That is due in part to the primary, where she was the subject of dozens of ads (on both sides of the issue), not to mention all of the press coverage of the debate and victory speech. And obviously there is the fact that she's been Saratoga County's clerk for more than a decade.

All of that adds up to her having nothing to gain from a debate and everything to lose. As we saw in the presidential race, debates can make a big difference in voters' perception of a candidate.

And speaking of debates, any speculation on what tonight will look like? I'm thinking it will be more animated than the Romney v. Obama debate. 

Biden is always good for talking off-the-cuff and, I mean, look at these guys:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No candidate who refuses to debate should be considered worthy of public office.

How is the public to really learn about candidates, their positions, views and life experiences without real debate. Certainly we learn little or nothing from paid political ads. mailings and "Meet the Candidates" forums.

Neither of these candidates are incumbents of the office they seek so debate would seem even more important.

Marcione is not a "Profiles in Courage" prospect.

October 11, 2012 at 3:40 PM 

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