WEEKS AMPLIFIES CALL ON WHEELER TO DEBATE, PROMISING "I CAN COME RIGHT TO YOUR DOOR!"
NASHUA - More than two weeks after Executive Council candidate and good-government reformer Dan Weeks (D-Nashua) hand-delivered a debate invitation to his opponent, the incumbent Councilor David Wheeler continues to evade the issue and ignore requests from non-partisan organizations offering to host debates. Dozens of District 5 voters have echoed Weeks' call for debates by sending messages of their own to Wheeler, who has yet to respond to a single one.
"I firmly believe that anyone who seeks the people’s trust owes it to the voters to stand up in public alongside his opponent and defend his positions," Weeks said. "If Councilor Wheeler won't agree to meet me in public and debate, you have to wonder what he's trying to hide."
Weeks added that he is more than willing to come to his opponent's neighborhood or front door with a podium for him, if that's what it takes to have a public debate.
In a letter Weeks delivered to Wheeler at the August 3rd meeting of the Governor and Council, Weeks formally requested Wheeler “work with me on arranging for a series of debates… to provide direct and substantive access to our positions on the issues to voters.” The letter received coverage in The Union Leader, Nashua Telegraph, and other outlets. Although Wheeler indicated to The Union Leader on August 12th that "we’re working on setting one up in Peterborough as we speak," neither the Weeks campaign nor the Peterborough organizers have received any response from Wheeler as of August 18th.
The call for debates is not the first time Wheeler has refused to return letters or calls from Weeks, a longtime District 5 resident, or other constituents. Since entering the race in March, Weeks has called upon Wheeler to address questions and concerns from constituents over commuter rail, renewable energy, women’s health contracts, and racist and xenophobic statements made by Donald Trump, after Wheeler was the senior-most elected official to attend the Republican nominee’s New Hampshire address in June. All of Weeks’ requests to-date have gone unanswered.
“There is simply no excuse for an elected representative to systematically ignore his constituents’ pleas,” Weeks said. “As I travel the 33 towns in District 5 meeting voters and hearing their concerns, I am repeatedly told by ordinary citizens that Wheeler never returned their calls. That is unacceptable.”
Weeks concluded, "As a 15-year advocate for transparent and accountable governance, I am ready to do my part by answering voters questions directly – not through speeches and soundbites at a forum but in a real debate. It's high time Councilor Wheeler joined in."