State representative candidates Gerly Adrien and Steve ‘Stat’ Smith have agreed to participate in at least two public forums/debates in the coming months prior to the Sept. 4 Democratic primary, which will decide the winner of the seat.
Incumbent State Rep. Joe McGonagle has not yet responded to the call for a forum, which first went out from Adrien two weeks ago.
Adrien put out the challenge for multiple forums with all three candidates, and this week she told the Independent that she and Smith have agreed to participate in forums.
Smith apparently responded on the same day that the call went out via certified letters in the mail. However, Adrien was critical of Rep. McGonagle for not responding.
“It’s a sad day for democracy when our own state representative will not once again have an open forum with me,” she said, noting that there were no forums agreed to during her last run two years ago. “What is he hiding? Is it because I will ask about his record and the amount of funding he has received for Everett that is separate from Senator Sal DiDomenico’s great efforts. I know he isn’t scared to speak in a room with me because we just did that this past Saturday. But why not an open forum?”
Two years ago, Rep. McGonagle did not show up to two of the open forums with Adrien, one held at Zion Baptist Church and the other held at Parlin Library.
Adrien said some residents have asked her why she is being negative.
“It’s not about being negative,” she said. “I am a resident of Everett, too. I want to hear the work from our State Representative. If he is able to tout all those progressive works on immigration, gay rights, and workforce development funding for our city in newspapers, social media and at the doors, then he should be able to answer questions and stand behind it.”
Two organizations, Zion Baptist Church and Our Revolution Everett, have agreed to host forums in the coming months.
No dates have yet been set, but dates and times are being discussed with the two campaigns.