Aubertine says he will be in Canton tonight for debate even if Ritchie isn't
Monday, October 18, 2010 - 3:03 pm

CANTON – State Sen. Darrel Aubertine says he plans to show up ready to debate tonight and tomorrow even if his challenger, St. Lawrence County Clerk Patty Ritchie, does not.

The League of Women Voters in St. Lawrence County has scheduled a debate between the two 48th Senate District contenders at SUNY Canton this evening, and Grant Reeher, host of Campbell Conversations on WRVO in Oswego has a debate set for 10 a.m. Tuesday.

However it appears that only Aubertine has agreed to attend debates in all three counties of the district.

“It’s important that voters hear in a public forum and through the media where candidates stand on important issues,” Aubertine said. “This is a large and mostly rural district so bringing information to the voters is essential to running an honest and open campaign. I have every intention of being in Canton tonight and in Oswego tomorrow morning to make sure the voters know where I stand on their issues. My advice to my opponent would be to show up and answer questions for the public to hear.”

Space has been reserved at SUNY Canton Campus Center, rooms 212-214 for this evening’s meeting. Since Ritchie has not said she will be there, the League of Women Voters has said it will no longer act as moderator. To ensure there is an impartial moderator, the Aubertine campaign has reached out to local media to moderate should his opponent change her mind and face the voters.

“The local media is the eyes and ears of the public and it’s unfortunate that Patty hesitates to say publicly where she stands on the key issues,” said Drew Mangione, Aubertine campaign spokesman. “Whether or not she’s willing to face the media and the voters, the senator is open and honest, so he will be there, as he’s been there for all of us in Central New York and the North Country fighting for jobs.”