Updated 10/05/2012 07:34 PM
More debates between Preston and Abdelazim
With a month to go before Election Day, the candidates for Broome County Executive have scheduled a public debate. As our Elyse Mickalonis explains, they believe this will give voters the information they need to choose the next county executive in November.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- It’s something Democratic Candidate Tarik Abdelazim has repeatedly criticized Republican Broome County Executive Debbie Preston for: Not scheduling a public debate. But on Friday, Preston’s Campaign Manager Bijoy Datta announced there will be one.
“She’s really excited to do it. It’s going to be at BCC on October 25th at 7 p.m. It’s going to be open and we’re really looking forward to sharing our vision for Broome County’s future,” said Datta.
Abdelazim says he’s happy they’ll finally get the chance to talk politics in front of voters.
“I’m still waiting to see if this will meet the criteria the people want, which is open, free and televised,” said Abdelazim.
Datta says Preston hasn’t been avoiding public debates with her opponent and insists she’s been busy at work.
"I think a lot of people didn’t understand why it took a little bit for us to come to agreement on a debate, but we’ve been working on a $365 million budget, we’ve 2,000 employees to run and we’re real focused on running the county. Public business comes first and campaigning comes second,” said Datta.
Although each candidate has different plans for Broome County, both say they’re ready and willing to share those ideas with voters in person.
“One of the most important forms of democracy is to have a forum to engage citizens and to make sure elected officials are available to all citizens. I think the future of Broome County hinges on this election,” said Abdelazim.
Datta added, “It’s going to be positive. The debate will be focused on creating jobs, cutting costs and keeping government open and accountable.”
A debate that could be the perfect chance for voters to get the information they need to make a choice for the future of their community.
The two have already faced off at the Binghamton Chamber’s Forum and they’ll appear together next week at a Realtors Association Forum.