For the second time in less than two weeks, a candidate didn't show up at a debate.
The Greater Haverhill League of Women Voters held a debate forum Monday night -- specifically for candidates for state senator and state representative -- and it seems Democrat Diana DiZoglio did not attend even though she had said she would.
As a result of her opponent not being there, Republican Karin Rhoton was not allowed to participate in the debate. She was, however, allowed to deliver opening and closing statements. And that's when she called out DiZoglio for the no-show:
“You were all done a disservice tonight because my opponent did not have the courtesy to show up," Rhoton said. I respect your time, that’s why I’m here. I promise to show up for you every day for this job, as my record of experience as a proven leader shows. An empty chair cannot vote..."
“Tonight I have proven to you all that I take this job seriously – even before I ever serve. If I have the honor of earning your vote, I will serve you 100% - not just when it serves me. If you call me for anything, I will go to the wall for you. Your voice deserves to be heard, and I will communicate that clearly and represent you wholly.”
“I may not have been able to answer the questions put forth tonight as part of the forum, but I will be here to answer all of your questions after we close, and I will not leave until you all get your chance. Thank you so much for this opportunity.”
Update: DiZoglio responded to request for comment Wednesday morning.
"We emailed their coordinator weeks ago to let them know we had a scheduling conflict and would be unable to attend. We have two debates this week already and their event was conflicting with another on my calendar. If she is unhappy about not having an opportunity to speak, she should contact the people running the forum instead of releasing negative, public and false statements directed at me. I am sticking to discussing the issues and hope my opponent will choose to do the same from this point on. There is enough mudslinging going on and people are tired of it," DiZoglio said.
DiZoglio also emailed a screen capture of that emailed to back up her claim.