Photo: Republican challengers James Olsen, Aaron Winters, Pete DeBoer together after forum on August 6th 2010.
It seems a shame that the story after the Poulsbo Candidates Forum last night is more about who wasn’t there instead of key positions addressing Washington’s pressing concerns. I’m appalled that Democrat incumbents would not face the music; both having declined invitations by the North Kitsap County Republican Women that were sent out a month in advance. Representatives Sherry Appleton (D) and Christine Rolfes (D) need to answer up for this and set matters right. Avoiding your competitors is a cheap and disrespectful political tactic.
In fairness, there could be a lot of reasons why Democrats didn’t bother to show. We just don’t know what they are. We do know that they both affirmatively declined so it wasn’t something that happened at the last minute. Maybe it was because the hosts were the North Kitsap County Republican Women and they feared a hostile audience… not good enough. I’m sure the light overall turnout had something to do with poor communication and logistics, but that didn’t stop the three Republican challengers from attending. The campaign chair for Sherry Appleton did show up but completely missed an opportunity to give some brief statement… and then she walked out half way through. Rude. Dismissive. The rest of us stayed. It was only a two-hour event. I have to wonder…
Did Appleton and Rolfes coordinate their absence and mutually agree to not show?
Voters in Washington’s 23rd Legislative District deserve more. Poulsbo is an important and vital community, not to be dismissed. Challengers James Olsen, Aaron Winters, and Pete DeBoer were there and all had important points. Where were the incumbents? Absent.
Sherry Appleton and Christine Rolfes should make it right. Avoidance is a cheap political tactic.