Welch spurning debate shows 'disregard for Vermonters' curiosity and intelligence'

BRATTLEBORO — During an election cycle, candidates running for office show respect for their fellow Vermonters by participating in debates. An important working aspect of our democracy, these events are an effective way for contenders to present their points of view, defend their actions to the present moment, and acknowledge their responsibility to represent constituents while in office.

Questions from the audience are another point of engagement, providing each Vermont voter with the equivalent of a spot at the podium.

When the publisher of the Brattleboro Reformer, Bennington Banner, and Manchester Journal recently offered to host a debate for the three candidates for the U.S. Senate seat, Rep. Peter Welch in effect declined.

His action denies every resident a seat at the table, a chance in real time to learn about and compare the contenders' records and proposals.

This demonstrates a disregard for Vermonters' curiosity and intelligence. It also shows a lack of appropriate esteem for the position to which the Senatorial hopefuls aspire as they aim to do the best for every Vermonter.

I want my next U.S. Senator to represent my values and positions in the highest possible way. I can best decide who to support when I've had multiple opportunities to literally hear them speak and interact on the same platform.

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