We are pleased to announce that League of Women Voters and Saratoga TODAY debates are upcoming and most opposition candidates have agreed to join our Row A candidates in the forums.
Saratoga County League of Women Voters forums will be recorded virtually with no audience on the scheduled days and then recordings will be posted to the league’s website and Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms. Community members interested in submitting questions for the forums can email firstname.lastname@example.org at least two days prior to the forum and include the name of the pertinent race in the subject line. The first debates are County Supervisor and Mayor on October 4; the schedule is here.
Saratoga TODAY debates will be held live at the City Center on October 12 and 21 with in-person attendance restricted to invited guests and will be streamed in real time on the Saratoga TODAY Facebook page. Voters can send in questions for possible inclusion to: email@example.com.
Candidate debates are a rich tradition in American politics, but the Republicans initially did not respond by the LWV deadline date. The Upstate Conservative Coalition told the Times-Union it researched the SCLWV membership and discovered that 95% are Democrats. (It’s unclear how this research could have been accomplished since the SCLWV does not publish its membership list.) “They are anything but unbiased,” said UCC Political Director David Buchyn. “They are an elderly white women organization.”
In a statement on September 28, City of Saratoga Springs Republican party chair Chris Obstarczyk specifically highlighted the number of contributions to “Democratic causes” that LWV Voter Services Coordinator Charlotte Druschel has made in the past six years and said, “the League of Women Voters is a partisan organization despite its claim to the contrary.” But, he added, the party’s slate of city council candidates “are ready, willing and able to debate in any format.”
As to the Saratoga TODAY debates, initially they were planned with a live audience with protocols different to those for all city buildings, which require masks for both vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors. The Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee accepted the invitation after the change to a virtual format. “We thank Saratoga TODAY for adjusting their requirements so voters can hear from the candidates in a safe environment,” said Pat Tuz, chair of the SSDC.