Debate Is on: DeMaria, VanCampen to Square-off on Nov. 1

Mayor Carlo DeMaria and Ward 5 Alderman Robert Van Campen have agreed to a Mayoral Debate in advance of the November 5 election, giving voters a chance to see and compare the two candidates side by side .

The candidates will meet at Everett High School at 7 p.m., on Friday, November 5. The debate will feature questions from representatives of the city’s three local newspapers, and questions will be provided to the candidates ahead of time.

Each newspaper is being given the opportunity to ask two questions as part of a panel, and the two sides are still negotiating on who will moderate the event. According to a source, the two sides are also still negotiating the length of time that will be given for answers, opening and closing statements and rebuttals.

According to the campaign staffs of each candidate, debate negotiations have been on-going since the summer, when Mayoral challenger Van Campen asked for three debates with the mayor. However, negotiations over logistics, timing and format have kept the two camps from agreeing to a debate before now.

In the absence of a traditional live debate, the Independent has been asking the two candidates a series of questions over the past four weeks, with each candidate’s answer appearing side by side in the newspaper – see this week’s story for the fifth and final question in our newspaper debate.

Mayor DeMaria scored a sizeable victory in the September 17 primary election, getting nearly double the vote 3,130 to 1,624 votes for Van Campen, but the turnout was light and Van Campen has reportedly been working hard to close the gap in advance of next week’s election.

The debate will be televised on ECTV.