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Candidates Who Skip Debates Hurt Themselves – and the Voters

September 20, 2018
September 20, 2018
Contact:  Janet Hoy
(858) 688-6646


Raleigh, NC – The League of Women Voters of North Carolina co-president Janet Hoy issued the following statement in response to news that some candidates are refusing to participate in League- sponsored candidate forums and in, the League’s online voter guide:

“The voters of North Carolina have the right to know where candidates for public office stand on issues that affect their lives. Politicians who shy away from public debates and forums and from participation in our online voter education tool,, are doing a disservice to their own campaign and to the voters and constituents they seek to serve.

“Voters highly value candidate debates and forums to learn about the candidates asking for their votes. You wouldn’t hire someone for a job without interviewing them first. Voters deserve an opportunity to interview their would-be leaders.

“For nearly 100 years the League of Women Voters has worked to inform and educate the North Carolina public about issues and elections. We are a nonpartisan political organization, and we never endorse candidates. The public has come to trust and rely on us for these services.

“But this isn’t about the League. This is about the voters.

“Research shows that voters expect politicians to participate actively in voter education. When candidates refuse to show up and take voters’ questions, they damage their reputations, their political campaigns, and voters’ trust.

“The League of Women Voters of North Carolina is hard at work making sure that voters have the information they need this election season. We encourage all eligible voters to visit for information about their candidates, to find out how to register, and to check or update their registration—especially if they’ve recently moved or changed their name.

“We will be hosting candidate debates and forums across the state in the weeks leading up to Election Day and we encourage candidates for public office to show up and speak directly to the voters.”