The political debate featuring Brazil City mayoral candidates, Republican Jim Sheese, and Democrat Ann Bradshaw, is currently in limbo.
The Brazil Times received a press release Tuesday afternoon from Joe Broyles, Chairman of the Clay County Democrat Party, stating, â€śThe Democrat Party has made the decision not to participate in the political debate that was scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007. The reason for this decision is the fact that the Democrat candidates were not extended an invitation until it was read in The Brazil Times.â€ť
Broyles did not return a phone call to The Brazil Times seeking comment.
The Clay County Farm Bureau and Clay County Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsors of the event.
Clay County Farm Bureau President Marshall Nuckolls said he was unaware of the Democratsâ€™ decision to pull out of the debate.
â€śNobody sent anything personal to either party,â€ť Nuckolls told The Brazil Times. â€śMy personal feeling is I think itâ€™s wrong.â€ť
Nuckolls said a decision to carry on with Thursdayâ€™s forum will be made by the Clay County Farm Bureau Board Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m.
Several general election candidates expressed their views regarding the Democratsâ€™ decision Tuesday.
â€śI regret it because I think it will take from the opportunity for people to evaluate both parties,â€ť Republican Clerk-Treasurer Janet Wallace said. â€śI think that it is unfortunate for voters.â€ť
Wallaceâ€™s counterpart, Democrat Karen McQueen, said she was never invited to the debate.
â€śThe first we ever heard of this forum was in the newspaper,â€ť McQueen said. â€śWeâ€™d be more than happy to participate. Just maybe under some different terms.â€ť
Sheese said he still plans on being at the YMCA Thursday, where the debate was scheduled to take place, and added he never received an invitation.
â€śI guess weâ€™ll carry on,â€ť he said. â€śAs far as Iâ€™m concerned, Iâ€™ll talk to the people.
â€śAs far as Iâ€™m concerned, Iâ€™ll be there at 6:30 p.m. Iâ€™ll guess weâ€™ll let the people decide.â€ť
Bradshaw said she believed that voters would â€śunderstandâ€ť why the Democrats pulled out of the forum because members of her party were not notified.
â€śWhen I found out about it, I read it in The Brazil Times,â€ť she said. â€śI was shocked. I heard nothing.â€ť
Republican Chairman Sharon Koehler said, â€śQuite frankly, Iâ€™m not totally surprised.â€ť
â€śIâ€™m disappointed,â€ť Koehler continued. â€śThis is the first Iâ€™ve heard of this. I think the citizens will suffer. Iâ€™m just real frustrated.â€ť
Democratic Party Secretary Ed Nevins delivered the press release to The Brazil Times Tuesday. He said he knew that Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger, who was scheduled to moderate the event, was notified of the forum two months ago. Still, Nevins said Democratic candidates running for election were not notified, something he said had always taken place before.