PHOTO: Left, Justin Kanew at Franklin’s town square, and right, Sen. Jack Johnson with Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson.//Brooke Wanser


A Monday night forum for Tennessee’s District 7 has been canceled after the Republican candidate decided Friday not to send a surrogate.

Hosted by the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) was to debate Justin Kanew, a College Grove Democrat running for the seat vacated by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) on Monday night at the Gordon Jewish Community Center.

Sen. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) is running against Kanew.

According to emails from the event organizers obtained by the Home Page, questions were to include the topics of voter participation, healthcare affordability, gun reform, Israeli security and humanitarian needs in the region, sexual assault, anti-Semitism, and efforts toward bipartisanship.”

Three written questions from audience members were to be taken at the end, and the event was to be moderated by Tennessean Opinion Editor David Plazas.

Green’s campaign manager Stephen Siao noted that Green was unable to participate in the debate due to a prior event commitment in Waverly.

Siao said Johnson would not be able to participate, “with the last-minute changes to the format and still not being able to prepare accurate responses for 1/5 of the questions that will be posed.”

He added that Green would be happy to send a video greeting, and answer policy questions by writing, video, or in person at a future event.

Deborah Oleshansky, the Jewish Federation’s director of community relations, said the questions at the end were not a last minute change, but were part of the original format.

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