Democratic State Senate candidate Dante´ Bartolomeo issued a formal request to her opponent, Senator Len Suzio, to participate in a public debate in Meriden during the month of October. Bartolomeo, who is running for the 13th District Senate seat that represents Meriden, Cheshire, Middletown, Middlefield and Rockfall, has previously expressed her willingness to debate her Republican opponent prior to the November 6th election, but to date Suzio has proven unwilling to do so.
“Providing our citizens the opportunity to hear a public exchange of ideas between candidates for elected office is one of the cornerstones of our democracy,” Bartolomeo said. “This is a crucial election and the public has a right to understand the very clear differences between myself and Mr. Suzio. As elected officials, we have a civic obligation
to the voting public to debate our records in an open, transparent fashion, and I call upon Mr. Suzio to fulfill this most important obligation to our constituents.”
Bartolomeo said she would be willing to work with Suzio’s campaign to secure a date, time, location and impartial third party to administer the debate. The event would be open to the public and media, and Bartolomeo said consideration should be given to recording and airing the debate on local television to ensure the forum reaches the greatest possible number of residents.
A proposed debate between Bartolomeo and Suzio organized by Meriden Children First, the Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce and the Meriden Record-Journal did not come to fruition after Suzio reportedly declined several invitations to attend since planning for the event began in
July. The event, currently scheduled for Monday, October 29th, will now feature Bartolomeo and candidates running for the 82nd, 83rd and 84th House district seats.
If Suzio remains unwilling to debate in 2012, it would be the first time in recent memory that a meeting between the two candidates for the State Senate seat could not be arranged. Specifically, Suzio himself participated in debates during his most recent campaigns for the 13th
District seat in 2010 and 2011.
“Given that the first Presidential debate will take place this week, this issue couldn’t be more relevant,” Bartolomeo said. “I genuinely hope Mr. Suzio can find the time to debate so the voters in the 13th District have every opportunity to make an informed decision.”
About Dante´ Bartolomeo
Dante´ Bartolomeo has served on the Meriden City Council since 2008 and is currently Deputy Majority Leader. She is also Chair of the Public Works and Parks & Recreation Committee, Vice-Chair of the Finance Committee and Liaison to the Board of Education. Under her watch, Meriden has reduced its operating expenses three out of the last four years, fully funded its pension obligations and increased its bond rating by three notches to AA-. Prior to her role as a City Councilwoman, Bartolomeo served her
community as an advocate for universal health care and enhanced educational opportunities for Meriden students. She and her husband, Doug, have two sons: Riley, 16 and Cameron, 10.