About the only thing not mentioned in the News & Messenger’s slam of Luke Torian’s surprise no-show at the NAACP debate was that Torian was actually knocking back free cocktails and oysters at a reception hosted by the NVBIA, a developer lobbying group, while Raphael Lopez was left to debate an empty chair. Nice to see that the local media is going to talk about this in some way, though. It’s pretty stunning to see a candidate blow off showing up to a debate with no notice, so this definitely qualifies as news. Anywhere else, this would be a front page story.
The questions came and went, as if the event was just a press conference with Lopez.
Then Yassaman Stegner, who lives in the 52nd District, which takes in much of eastern Prince William, asked to be recognized.
She wanted to know where Torian stood on civil unions.
“Mr. Torian is not here,” moderator Cardell Hunter responded diplomatically. “He’s not here tonight.”
“Can we ask his stance on a certain issue?” Stegner asked. “Anybody else who may know …”
Sensing the confusion, Hunter asked Smith to intervene. The NAACP president explained that not only was Torian not present, but no one was there who was authorized to speak for him.
Scheduling issues alone about an NAACP debate between 50th District candidates made the front page of the News & Messenger. Here, you get one candidate simply blowing an NAACP debate off so he could drink free booze with developers, and all readers get is a column on the editorial page. And no mention of what Torian was doing as he abandoned a committment to a civil rights organization.
Too bad. Informed voters are better voters.
UPDATE: The News & Messenger chimes in with “An act of disrespect in the 52nd”
Torian’s non-appearance at Thursday’s event raises the question of whether or not he is up to the job… Torian’s absence was not fair to the NAACP, Republican contender Rafael Lopez or the people who showed up Thursday night to hear from both candidates.
Oh, my. I think Torian is in trouble here.
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