Colin Bell, the candidate for the Second Legislative District in the New Jersey State Senate, stood by himself on the stage last night at what was supposed to be a debate at Dante Hall in Atlantic City, after his opponent, Chris Brown, cancelled yesterday morning.
Carol Ruffu, president of the Chelsea Neighborhood Association, who helped organize the debate, said the Brown campaign contacted her on Friday and asked to change the timing so they could attend another event. On Monday the campaign asked for a change in the format of the debate, Ruffu said. Then Tuesday morning, they cancelled.
But Ruffu told Mel Taylor, of ACPrimetime, she was still hoping the Brown campaign would change their minds as of yesterday afternoon.
“Their chairs were still up there,” she said.
The real action took place on the undercard where assembly candidates Vince Mazzeo and John Armato faced off against Heather Gordon.
Gordon, the independent candidate, talked about funding pensions, Atlantic City’s branding problem and whether it’s wise to think of government as a business.
“We’ve seen what happens when we run government like a business. We have a businessman in office—and sometimes a reality host,” she said.
The Brown campaign did not respond to requests for comment, but Brown told the Press of Atlantic City he would be debating Bell five times in the coming weeks.
“The Presidential candidates only debate three times.”