Though Chris Goff, the Democrat running in the 34th House District, refused to take part in a debate last night in East Hampton, his opponent, Republican Melissa Ziobron, showed up and took questions from the public.
The Chatham Party of East Hampton organized the debate to take place at Sear’s Park Pavillion Thursday, October 11 at 6:30 p.m. Chris Goff declined the debate through a letter issued to the Chatham Party by his campaign manager, Terry Concannon.
The letter stated that although Chris Goff and his campaign thanked the Chatham Party for inviting him to participate in the candidate’s forum, “Chris would rather participate in a non-partisan political forum open to the public at large.” (see the attached letter)
According to Melissa Ziobron, "These type of events illustrate the difference – or lack of difference – between candidates and help voters make informed decisions. I am eager to participate in these forums– and I am disappointed that my opponent does not share my enthusiasm."
"The questions asked last night," she said, "were ones he should be prepared to answer anytime he speaks with a voter/resident. They were essentially: tell us about yourself. What do you want to accomplish? What makes you better qualified vs. your opponent? In addition, he pledged to me privately weeks ago he would participate in debates."
"I eagerly await that opportunity and in the meantime I will continue working hard meeting people in the district. Listening is an important part of this job and am eager to hear what folks have to say."
As of the publication of this article, Chris Goff's campaign had not responded to Patch's request for a comment.
According to the Chatham Party’s website, “the members and supporters of the Chatham Party are registered Republicans, Democrats, Independents and Chatham Party. Quite simply, we are East Hampton residents who want our voices to be heard, not ignored, not derided….We are moderates. Between the left and right, we are the quiet majority…”