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Candidates struggle to organize debate

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

There are 19 days left until the election and the 3rd Hampden District's State Rep. Rosemary Sandlin and her opponent Nicholas Boldyga have yet to debate nor will they, according to both parties.

In an interview with Reminder Publications, Boldyga explained that since Sept. 29, he has sent six letters requesting a debate or candidate's forum to Sandlin's district office, Boston office and campaign office. He said that he has yet to receive a reply but noted that one of the letters mailed to the State House was sent back opened.

"I think the citizens deserve a debate and candidate forum," he said. "I was hoping they [Sandlin's campaign] would have the common courtesy to respond."

When asked why she did not respond to Boldyga's inquiries, Sandlin said, "The issue is that we don't respond to him because in any campaign there is a process. My opponent has known he is a candidate since May. In any other campaign I've been in we've talked about them [debates] in June or July, which have given committees time [to set it up]. I don't know why they [the Boldyga campaign] wouldn't have contacted my campaign almost immediately.

"I'm willing to debate if a bipartisan, community organization steps forward [to sponsor the event]," she continued.

Boldyga noted that three of the letters sent to Sandlin were via certified mail, ensuring that they were received.

Sandlin called the letter to the State House an "inappropriate means of communication."

Boldyga said there is still "plenty of time" to organize a debate. He added that he has not contacted any community organizations requesting sponsorship for the event, however.

"I think our citizens need to hear us talk and discuss the issues," Boldyga said.

Sandlin explained that she is continuing her obligations as State Representative and "doing the job of the people during the day and campaigning during the evening."

"I believe that I am servicing my district by being at every event I can be at," she said. "I'm expressing my position [on the issues] to them personally."

Sandlin added that she will continue to "run a clean, above-board campaign" based on her record of "experience, community service and commitment to great quality constituent service."

Boldyga noted that he will also continue campaigning by attending public events and going door to door.