Rep. Scott Murphy (D) and challenger Chris Gibson (R) faced off last night in Glens Falls. My story on the news page focuses on the issues — healthcare, stimulus spending, etc.
But much of the punditry deals with the fact that the session, hosted by the Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce, wasn’t open to the public.
WNYT’s story — titled “Candidates face off, public not invited” — quotes a number of disgruntled voters, irritated that they weren’t allowed inside to listen.
In the Times-Union, Jimmy Vielkind notes that the auditorium where the debate took place was only “partially filled.”
Gibson has been pushing Murphy to hold a series of debates across the 20th district. Murphy hasn’t committed yet to more public sessions.
One bit of context here is that Democrats across the country have worked aggressively to avoid the kind of townhall rage that entangled them and created so many hostile headlines last summer.
Politico reports this week that much of that virulence appears to have subsided, as tea party activists hunker down to the work of electing candidates.