From the Gotham Gazette:
Democratic congressional candidate and State Assemblymember David Weprin has withdrawn from tonight’s scheduled debate with his GOP rival, Bob Turner. The two men are locked in a tough contest to succeed Anthony Weiner in the Ninth Congressional District in Brooklyn and Queens.
Robert Holden president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, cosponsor of the debate, said he checked in with Weprin’s campaign earlier today and was told “logistics” would make it impossible for Weprin to appear in Middle Village tonight.
“The hurricane caused major logistical and scheduling problems for the campaign and thus David is not able to make the debate this evening,” Weprin campaign spokesperson, Liz Kerr said in an emailed statement.
Holden, though, was not accepting the hurricane as a reason for Weprin’s change in plans. “This stinks to high heaven,” Holden said.
He said the candidate’s people had been voicing concern about the debate for the past week, expressing fear it could get disorderly and pressing for a forum instead of an actual debate. Holden said he had promised that the debate would be well run – no placards allowed and some police on hand – but he added, “I can’t guarantee you’re not going to get tough questions.”
The cancellation “is going to backfire for Weprin big time, “Holden said. “Anybody who would do this would not be a straight shooter in Congress.”
From the NY Post:
Maureen Walthers, publisher of the Queens weekly, called Weprin a “coward” and a “worm” for being a no-show.
“What is he afraid of?” she asked. “Stand up and answer the questions!”
“I hope Weprin doesn’t win,” she said. “Shame on him. He’s making Weiner look good.”