White Plains – Mayor Thomas M. Roach, Jr., and his running mates, Councilmen John Martin and John Kirkpatrick both running for re-election and Common Council candidate Justin Brasch were a no-show Tuesday, August 22nd for White Plains’ first citywide debate held at the Woman’s Club of White Plains by the three south end neighborhood associations.
“The fact that the mayor chose not to address voters last week was not surprising given he did not show up during the week and a half of court proceedings on a case that he brought to the court in the first place. That his cronies followed suit seems business as usual for this bunch. This what the voters have to look forward to with this ticket ” said Common Council Member and Democratic mayoral candidate Milagros Lecuona.
Lecuona and her Democratic slate-mates Alan Goldman, Michael Kraver, and Saad Siddiqui were all in attendance. They were excited to finally talk to the voters after the distraction of the recent court case where some 500 votes were threatened because people listed “WP” as their address instead of “White Plains.”
The three neighborhood associations – Rosedale Residential Association, the North Street Area Civic Association, and the Gedney Association – all spent the last few months working will mayoral and Common Council candidates to choose a date when all candidates were available. In the end, all on Mayor Roach’s ticket skipped the opportunity to talk to voters.
“We were very disappointed that Mayor Roach, Councilmen Kirkpatrick and Martin and Candidate Brasch chose not to attend the forum. We offered them three alternative dates to accommodate their schedules. The associations sponsoring the event represent thousands of residents in the south end of White Plains. The event attracted one of the largest audiences I have ever seen at a candidate’s event in the city. I think they made a serious mistake and come September 12th, will regret it,” explained John Sheehan, President of the Gedney Association, one of the three neighborhood associations who hosted the debate.
In a recent Facebook post about the voter suppression court case, Bartholomew Caro, Mayor Roach’s campaign manager said, “I think we’re all better off when candidates talk about their ideas and accomplishments.” That was not the case last week, Milagros said in a statement.
In all fairness, we invite Mayor Roach and his running mate an opportunity to share their side of the story, as there are always at least three sides of every story in politics especially during the silly season. But as of now for someone whose campaign slogan is, “the progressive leader who’s got White Plains moving in the right direction,” pulling a no-show at a debate is not moving in the right directions and voters should keep that in mind come September 12th.