Letter to the Editor – Debates

Editor, COASTER:

We’ve had 7 Democratic Congressional debates…..

I’d like to respond to Mr. Barry’s Letter – “We Need a Debate”, in your June 11 edition.  There have in fact been several Democratic forums/ debates dating back to December of last year for the NJ CD-04 seat.  The debates I saw were very well attended (150+ citizens) and informative.  I think it is an unfair tactic to infer that there hasn’t been public discourse among the candidates.

I have been following the race and know of 7 different dates that the candidates met in public.  These forums were publicized by the candidates and the organizations that sponsored them.  I can say that at a March forum in Neptune, one of the candidates gave an initial statement and then left, cutting off the opportunity for the exchange of ideas.  That candidate was not Ms. Schmid, for the record.

I would assume Mr. Barry is a Democrat.  I see no value to our party accusing a candidate of being “antithetical and lacking transparency”.  Campaigns do get competitive; but we need to be positive; which as far as I have seen, Ms. Schmid has made it a point to do thus far.  If you missed these 7 dates in all three counties that comprise NJ CD-04, I am sure the candidate’s website and “contact us” features are available to you.

I would agree with Mr. Barry that we have had a “no show” congressman who has not held a town hall meeting in 26 years.  At the 2-3 debates I have attended, Ms. Schmid has committed at each meeting that she will hold a monthly in District town hall when elected.  Sounds pretty accessible to me.

Hopefully we can close the Chris Smith chapter of NJ CD-04 this November.

Larry Fox
Bradley Beach

Posted in Shore Communities.