Independent Council candidates criticize media for Democrat-only forum

Four Independent candidates for City Council want to be heard just as much as their Democratic counterparts.

In a joint statement released this morning, Brandon Collins, Scott Bandy, Paul Long and Andrew Williams criticized the local media for organizing a Democratic-only debate last month. 
Fellow Independent candidate Bob Fenwick was not included in the statement.

On July 20, Charlottesville Tomorrow and The Daily Progress sponsored and hosted a forum for the seven Democratic candidates for City Council, something the Independents call "a dubious, if not offensive act."

"We note that this forum was intended to help inform the public prior to the Democratic Party primary," reads the statement. "However, we would like to point out towards a wrongly held and promoted belief that many in this city believe the Democratic Primary is the sole factor in determining who is elected to Charlottesville City Council. To host and sponsor a forum for ONLY one group of candidates, the Daily Progress and Charlottesville Tomorrow has promoted the belief that the Democratic Primary is really the only true election in Charlottesville."

The group adds that, if the local media will not host a forum with the five Independent candidates, then “a great disservice to the common good will be committed.”

The statement comes one day before all 12 candidates square off in two debates, the first sponsored by the Senior Statesmen of Virginia and the second hosted by the Fry’s Spring Neighborhood Association, both slated for tomorrow.

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