We’re not biased

It’s unfortunate The Express could not hold a political forum before Nov. 8 involving the two candidates for the 76th Legislative District of the state House of Representatives this season.

That was our intention, but instead we’ve been accused of collusion by one of the candidates, a claim we reject.

Our first method of contacting the candidates was by email to the Clinton County Republican and Democratic Committee chairmen.

In a couple of days, we heard from the Democratic Party and they agreed to have their candidate, Mike Hanna, participate.

We did not hear from the Republian Party, so we sent an email on Oct. 4 directly to the Republican candidate, Stephanie Borowicz, asking her to participate in a forum on a specific date (Nov. 3), time and location, and told her that we had heard back from her opponent via his party’s county chairman.

We did not hear anything from her until Oct. 31, when the candidate decided to accuse the newspaper of collusion with her opponent in announcing that she would not participate in our forum.

The idea was to simply hold a sit down at a local venue, with a panel consisting of media representatives, businesspeople and civic leaders offering questions to candidates along the lines of taxes, education funding, economic development and other issues.

It’s what we’ve done for years, and with candidates at different levels of government, in order to serve our readers and their constituents.

The accusation of collusion and “an attempt to force my participation in a biased debate” because our request did not include “accepted and standard procedures” is ridiculous.

We do thank both candidates for providing answers to a set of written questions that were published this past Saturday.