NY22 GOP Debate Cancelled; Candidate Refuses Invitation

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VESTAL, NY (WSKG) – The League of Women Voters of Broome and Tioga Counties has cancelled a broadcast debate between Republican candidates in New York’s 22nd Congressional District.

Former Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. Gabe Altieri/WSKG

Former Congress member Claudia Tenney today sent notice she would not participate. Her emailed response came just hours before a deadline set by the debate’s organizing committee expired.

League co-president Margaret Goodfellow says  “Claudia Tenney indicated at this time she is not accepting any invitation to debate her primary opponent.”

The debate, which would have been broadcast live on WSKG Television and Radio, was set for Thursday evening, June 18.  Under LWV rules, in a two-person race, both candidates must participate in a league debate.     Goodfellow says candidate George Phillips accepted the League’s invitation last week.

Gabe Altieri/WKSG

George Phillips speaking in Binghamton. Gabe Altieri/WKSG

The debate was sponsored by the LWV, WSKG Public Media, the SUNY-Broome Civic Engagement Center, and the Binghamton University Center for Civic Engagement.

For health reasons, next month’s debate would have been closed to the public.  Instead, questions were to be submitted via social media.  Only the candidates, time keepers and moderator Gabe Altieri would be on-air.  Plus, a minimum production crew would have been present. Everyone would be required to utilize appropriate personal protective equipment.