Last Saturday, Congressman Glenn Nye took part in a debate against Kenny Golden and Scott Rigell, his opponents in this year’s election. Tonight, U.S. Representative Bobby Scott will debate challengers John Kelly, James Quigley and Charles Smith. Both debates were organized by the Virginia Peninsula League of Women Voters.
When the Virginia Peninsula League of Women Voters contacted Representative Randy Forbes, however, they were met with nothing but silence. Forbes refused to even talk with the organization about holding a debate with his challenger, Wynne LeGrow.
The Tidewater News, a local newspaper, also noted the silence of Congressman Forbes, saying, “He’s also been unresponsive to our newspaper’s attempt to find out why he shunned the debate invitation.”
Vivian Page, a political writer in the district, has called the refusal of Representative Forbes to debate “an affront to voters.” Another Virginia Beach voter asks, “The district is already gerrymandered in Forbes’ favor. What is he afraid of?”
A newspaper’s unscientific poll found that about three quarters of readers wanted to see a debate between Forbes and LeGrow. In response to that poll, voter Eileen Huey commented, “It is one of the duties of an elected representative in our form of government to come before the voters and defend his or her record when it is challenged. If Congressman Forbes is afraid to do that, then he is not fulfilling the responsibility we vest in our elected officials. Debates are not about party strategy, they are about the serious issues that face our nation. If you want the vote of your constituents, then no Congressman should shirk the challenge of explaining why he should be re-elected.”