Laird, Blakeslee debate the debates
July 14, 2010
Democrat John Laird, who finished second in the June 22 primary election, challenged Republican Sam Blakeslee to publicly debate in each of the five counties represented in State Senate District 15. The district stretches from Santa Maria in the south to Santa Clara in the north. Blakeslee immediately accepted the challenge.
However, weeks later, little has been officially confirmed for a debate schedule.
The League of Women Voters is set to sponsor a debate Monday at 7 p.m. at the Cuesta College Student Center. Laird has agreed to participate and claims Blakeslee is declining.
In a press release issued Wednesday, Laird campaign spokesperson Steve Mavaligio quoted an email sent out to the candidates by Vera Wallen from the League of Women Voters. “Blakeslee’s staff has said the date is difficult for him. We have presented the opportunity to participate by conference call or other electronic means. The League continues to hope that he will participate July 26. Our League Board has voted unanimously to proceed with the forum.”
Meanwhile, Christine Robertson, Blakeslee’s chief of staff in Sacramento, responded by indicating that Blakeslee is more than willing to participate in debates–as long as they don’t conflict with his obligations in Sacramento during the week.
“We’ve had several conversations with the League, asking them for a Friday, or weekend, date,” Robertson said. “We can’t do Mondays because the Assemblyman has legislative commitments during the early part of the week.”
Robertson indicated that Blakeslee has already agreed to debate Laird in San Jose on August 5 and in Arroyo Grande on August 6.
The election is set for August 17.