While the GOP Congressional candidates argue over debates, I am reminded of the first time I ran for mayor and how much I wanted my two opponents to engage in public.
I was the upstart who was not thought by the political establishment of the day to have the "gravitas" to follow Mayor Walker in office. The old guard had advanced the candidacy of Amy Saiff, a former school board member and well known person in the community. Long time local lawmaker Jim Brett was also in the race.
I needed a breakthrough and got it through my good friend, the late Bruce Dempster, who was also active at the North Side League.....Back then the League was still a cornerstone for local political discourse and their Friday night meetings were well attended.
Bruce arranged for the League to host as debate as no one else seemed to want to.....There was no way Amy or Jim could refuse the League.
I knew I had an advantage in knowledge of issues from years of covering City Hall as a newsman. I also was a good talker and could turn a phrase. My two opponents were defending records in office.
I wanted the debate and got it. It helped propel me to a shocking primary win and a sweeping win in the general.
Debates are or are not a good thing depending on who you are and what your skills are.
If I were the Hoffman team, I would want the debates late, in remote places and in front of small crowds....Doheny wants them in front of the audiences TV can provide....He figures he can mop the floor with Mr. Hoffman, who last year was ill at ease as a campaigner.
By their own admission, the Doheny camp concedes Mr. Hoffman has improved, so there is also the danger of getting more than you wished for. Let's see what happens.
Watertown Daily Times Two GOP candidates spar over debates