Abdelazim Speaks to Public at Town Hall Meeting
10/4/2012 (Updated 11:09:37 PM)(Source: Jeremy Donovan)
BINGHAMTON -- Local Democrats haven't given up on their taunts to get Broome County Executive Debbie Preston, the Republican incumbent to debate openly with Democratic challenger Tarik Abdelazim.
Abdelazim was at a party sponsored Town Hall Open Forum on Thursday night. While he answered questions from the audience there was an empty seat reserved for Preston.
"I think it's important that people understand that this is an unusual situation," Abdelazim said. "The first county executive in modern history to refuse any free open televised debate. It's unheard of."
Abdelazim calls Preston's absence an "arrogant refusal that has offended and disappointed residents." He says several such town hall meetings are giving him a better idea on what the most important issues Broome County residents are concerned about.
"It's all about what's impacting their sense of security and neighborhoods," he said. "It's jobs, budgets, fracking, and flooding."
Thursday night's one candidate debate came just one night after the first Presidential Campaign. Abdelazim joked that President Obama looked a little tired.
"I think Obama needs to drink another Red Bull before the next debate," he laughed. "He was lacking his usual passion and emotion, and hopefully he can pick it up in the next debate."
Statistically in presidential election year's voter turn out is much higher than others, a factor Abdelazim says will only increase his chances against Preston.
"The more turnout we see, the more positive it will be for my campaign. The last special election was less than 30%, so we better beat that this time around," he said.
The next town hall meeting will be held on October 9th at Atrio Banquet Hall on Hooper Road in Endwell.
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