Mayoral nominee asks Nutter for public debates

With just about two months left before the November election mayoral nominee Karen Brown has already started to stir things up.

Brown, the former Democrat who changed parties to go against Mayor Nutter said Nutter has been ducking her requests for public debates.

It’s a fairly common political tactic that underdogs use to gain attention where they accuse the incumbent of running away from a challenge.

Brown bee-lined her way to the second floor of City Hall this morning to hand deliver a letter asking that Nutter choose three venues in Center City, North Philadelphia and Northeast where they can verbally square-off. She said she was hoping to catch him coming out of his office but after a minor ruckus in the hall between her and some guards. She was eventually escorted into his office by a staffer.

“I figure if I hand delivered the letter he couldn’t possibly deny it,” Brown said adding she wants to have a total of five debates, including one in West Philadelphia and another in South Philly.

“I think we should do one in the neighborhoods,” Brown said. “Voters should have the opportunity to ask both candidates honest and open questions because he always claims he wants an open and transparent government …I believe in open [government] and transparency too, so I am giving the voters what they asked for in him.”

Nutter remained noncommittal on the idea.

“I expect that there will be some debate during the course of the rest of this campaign season. I appreciate the delivery,” Nutter said. “We’ll see what we can work out. I mean it’s a very, very busy time and I do take some time away from my daily responsibilities. I am a candidate and I do respect that but my primary job is to work on behalf of the citizens of Philadelphia every day.”

Brown said Nutter was hiding. Nutter’s response: “that’s absurd.”

According to Sheila Simmons, with Nutter’s campaign, Nutter and Brown are expected to duke it out on FOX 29, Oct.4, the debate will then air Friday Oct. 7 and again over weekend.

Check out Brown’s letter to the Mayor below:

Dear Mayor Nutter,

Election Day is just two months away. I have been waiting patiently for you to confirm a date when we can publicly discuss the many issues facing our city. The citizens of Philadelphia deserve a public debate between their mayoral candidates.

I am challenging you to the following debates in different sections of our city to give members of those areas the opportunity choose the best direction for our city. I have chosen two venues - Southwark School in South Philly and Boys Latin Charter School in West Philly and I welcome you to select venues in Center City, North Philly and the Northeast.

Now more than ever it’s important for members of our communities to have a choice. I look forward to hearing from you and giving our voters a fair choice in November.

Karen Brown