Raimondo, Fung opt out of debates


Leading political candidates are skipping out on opportunities to have public debates this year in Rhode Island.

The two favorite contenders for the major party’s nominations are refusing to appear in any of the offered statewide forums.

“It’s not OK in a democracy,” NBC 10 political analyst Wendy Schiller, who is also a professor at Brown University, said.

Schiller said she is surprised that both Gov. Gina Raimondo and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung are avoiding the chance to defend their positions.

“They’ve both won, for mayor and governor,” Schiller said. “They’re both campaign tested, they should be really good at this, and they should make themselves available to debate their opponents. It’s not just unfair to the opponents, it’s unfair to the voters.”

It may not cost them in the primary, she predicted, but there could be some fall-out in the general election in November.

“Avoiding debates and not getting yourself out and about and making yourself available in that kind of a forum might rub voters the wrong way and they might just end up staying home in the general election,” Schiller said.

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