Naomi Rivera declined to participate in the 80th Assembly District debate on BronxTalk on Monday night.
Click here for video of the debate and following is a statement from the show’s host, Gary Axelbank:
Unfortunately, although we had worked very hard to coordinate the schedule for this debate with the incumbent, Naomi Rivera has flat declined our invitation to appear. Editorially, I will say that asking people for their vote and then not be willing to participate in a debate with other candidates is a posture that we reject wholeheartedly. The Bronx is made stronger by responsive elected officials who respect the democratic process, their opponents, and most importantly, their constituents. By refusing to appear tonight the assemblywoman is directly insulting everyone involved, BronxTalk, Bronxnet, her fellow candidates, and you the people of the Bronx. In fact, it’s the second time she has declined to participate. Viewers will remember she didn’t appear in 2010 either. Given this program’s ongoing commitment to keeping Bronxites informed and engaged, we abhor the very notion of it. And so she will be represented by an empty chair throughout tonight’s proceedings.