ON: OCTOBER 9, 2012
POSITION for: MASSACHUSETTS STATE REPRESENTATIVE
INCUMBENT CANDIDATE: PETER DURANT
CHALLENGER CANDIDATE: KATHLEEN WALKER
CHAIRMAN: BARBERA DELANO
MODERATOR: JAMES ALEXANDER
TIMEKEEPER: CARL SWANSON
1) TOTAL DEBATE TIME WILL BE 1 HOUR
2) QUESTIONS FOR TONIGHT HAVE COME FROM RESIDENTS OF 4 TOWNS: CHARLTON, SPENCER, SOUTHBRIDGE and DUDLEY
3) NO QUESTIONS WILL BE ALLOWED FROM THE FLOOR
4) EACH CANDIDATE WILL HAVE 2 MINUTES FOR THEIR OPENING STATEMENT
5) EACH CANDIDATE WILL HAVE 2 MINUTES TO ANSWER EACH QUESTION
6) AFTER BOTH CANDIDATES HAVE ANSWERED A QUESTION THE 1ST TO HAVE ANSWERED CAN HAVE A 30 SECOND REBUTAL IF HE OR SHE DESIRES
7) TIME MUST BE STRICTLY ADHERED TO BE FAIR TO CANDIDATES
8) AT THE END BOTH CANDIDATES WILL HAVE A 2 MINUTE CLOSING STATEMENT. THE 1ST CLOSING STATEMENT WILL BE FROM THE CANDIDATE WHO GAVE THE 2ND OPENING STATEMENT
9) WE WILL DRAW A NAME FOR 1ST STATEMENT AND QUESTION
10) WE WILL ALTERNATE CANDIDATES FOR 1ST ANSWER TO EACH SUCCESSIVE QUESTION
11) AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE FORMAL DEBATE CANDIDATES WILL REMAIN IN LOBBY TILL 9 PM TO CHAT WITH AUDENCE MEMBERS
So it came as somewhat of a surprise when we opened yesterday’s Southbridge News to a front page article titled, “State rep forum sparks controversy”, and read:
Overlook is hosting a candidate’s night for the 6th Worcester District state representative’s race Tuesday, Oct. 9 — but whether both candidates will be there remains to be seen.
“As far as I’m concerned, this event is up in the air,” said incumbent State Rep. Peter Durant, R-Spencer. “We haven’t agreed to anything, and we need to agree to several things before we participate.”
Specifically, Durant said “red lights started going off” when he discovered two of the organizers were donors to his opponent Kathleen Walker’s campaign and wants the three people screening questions to be a Democrat, a Republican and an “independent.” He alleged Walker “had to know” her supporters were doing this.
Walker explained that one of those involved had indeed contributed to her campaign and immediately withdrew when the issue was raised.
This appears to be little more than the kind of shuffle that Durant engaged in during his last campaign. He is clearly uncomfortable in any environment where he lacks the support and control of his handlers.
It will be interesting to see if he does show up.