Debate dodgers

To the Editor:

Debates among political candidates for local, state and national offices are a valuable part of our electoral process, with a long tradition that pre-dates televised events.

When candidates appear together, hopefully with a skilled moderator, voters have an opportunity to compare and contrast some of their positions and assess how well (or poorly) they handle themselves in such an arena.

I applaud Eliot Cutler for his repeated offers to debate his two major opponents for the governor’s office. I am puzzled and distressed by the refusal of Governor Paul LePage and Congressman Mike Michaud to engage in debates, whether between all three candidates or at least between Mr. Cutler and one or the other of his opponents.

Why are they unwilling to present themselves to the public in a debate forum? Maine’s voters are being short-changed by these two candidates’ anti-debate stance.

Judith Swazey

Bar Harbor