Home Page staff reports
Both State House Democratic candidates running on the Nov. 8 ballot said they feel like the Republican candidates are excluding them by holding a town hall without them.
The Republican Town Hall is scheduled on Tuesday night at the Elk’s Lodge in Franklin. Both opposed candidates – incumbent Glen Casada (R-Thomson’s Station) and political newcomer Sam Whitson – will participate alongside Rep. Charles Sargent and Sen. Jack Johnson. Republicans have said this town-hall style discussion is something they also did in the 2014 election cycle.
But overall, both Democratic candidates said they would like more than one opportunity to debate in front of voters. As it stands, Casada and Whitson have said they will only participate in one forum with the Democratic candidates. The only one scheduled is The Williamson Herald and WAKM 950 AM forum on Oct. 20.
“I’m baffled as to why Sam Whitson wouldn’t want to have open and honest discussions with our voters and taxpayers,” said McCall, who is running for the House District 65 seat. “We deserve a representative who will speak freely and openly to all voters. If he’s like this now – when he needs our votes – what kind of leadership can we expect if he gets elected?”
Rogers, running for the District 63 seat, said she would like it if the town hall was opened to all the candidates running for House seats. She said it would help bring more viewpoints
“By only talking with people who agree with him, Glen Casada is excluding diverse voices from the conversation,” Rogers said. “The issues that matter to voters in our county are not partisan. This race is about who can lead on issues like traffic, housing and public schools and who can move past politics and toward real solutions. I would call on Glen Casada, Sam Whitson, Charles Sargent and Jack Johnson to open up this conversation to more viewpoints and welcome the women running for office onto the stage. It is demeaning to the hard-working citizens in this county to be shut out of the political process and further undermines voter confidence by selectively excluding candidates from the conversation.”
Additionally, McCall copied local media on an email to Whitson, suggesting weekly public events at neutral locations to discuss issues important to District 65 voters, including infrastructure improvements, education funding and transparency in the state legislature, among others. Although Whitson never replied to the email, McCall said he did decline the invitation.