Sheppard Thanks Chamber of Commerce Thankful Debate is Finally Moving Forward - the People Deserve to Hear from All of Us

Today Lovely Warren succumbed to pressure brought by the community to participate in a public debate. For days I have been calling on Mayor Lovely Warren to participate in televised debates she previously agreed to. But she has resisted. It was always disingenuous for her to say that she could participate in a candidates’ forum, but was not well enough to take part in debates with the candidates who will actually be on the ballot onSeptember 12th.

Most recently, Warren tried unsuccessfully to dictate the terms of a Chamber of Commerce candidates’ forum on economic development. She did her best to avoid public scrutiny and limit the need to have to explain her actions.

Despite criticism from some quarters, I have been firm in my resolve to keep the Mayor’s feet to the fire and hold out for a three-person debate that includes all of the Democratic Primary candidates. These have occurred for every single mayoral race since the first election in 1985. When an incumbent is in the race, it makes no sense to have a “debate” without them present. To suggest that we ought to proceed without Lovely Warren in holding a debate designed to determine whether she has earned the right to be re-elected is, frankly, ridiculous.

I'd like to thank Bob Duffy and the Chamber of Commerce for their thoughtful statement which helped force Warren’s decision today. The citizens of Rochester deserve this debate. I am looking forward to the opportunity.