Kent candidates nix debate

By Diane Smith Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Plans for a debate proposed by Louis Perez, a Republican candidate for council, have been dropped because of a lack of interest and scheduling conflicts.

Instead, city voters will have a chance to hear from candidates at the Kent League of Women Voters "Meet the Candidates NIght" Oct. 30 at the Kent United Church of Christ fellowship hall.

Perez said he had organized a meeting to discuss the terms of the debate. The group agreed discussion should center around economic development, and decided if six candidates weren't able to participate, adequate would not be held.

The debate had been tentatively scheduled for this week. But William Schultz, a Democrat, had other plans that night, and William Anderson, a Republican, decided not to participate in the debate. Michael DeLeone, a Democrat, told organizers he might have to work, and George Donoghue, a member of the city planning commission, expected to have a city meeting that night.

Since Charles "Pete" Williams dropped out of the race, that left only four candidates able to participate in the debate, Perez said.

He said he regretted the debate would not be held.

"A debate would give voters a chance to see how candidates would operate in a council-type setting where each candidate has a chance to refute questions," he said. "It's more of a real life council situation where there is that debate."

Perez said the debate would not be rescheduled to a night when more candidates might be able to participate.

"It's getting too late," he said. "Getting six people to agree on a place or time was much more difficult than I thought it would be."

At the candidates night, brief presentations will be given by the council candidates and candidates for Kent Mayor, Kent Board of Education, Franklin Township Trustee, and candidates for Portage County Municipal Court.

Moderator Carol Danks said each candidate will have a chance to make a three-minute presentation and discuss a topic of their choice. They will also take questions from the voters.

"It's a chance for the candidates to stand up in front of those of us who are going to vote and say, 'Here's where I stand. Here's what I believe.' "

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