LEWISTON — Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage has withdrawn from Thursday's Maine Public Broadcasting Network Your Vote 2010 debate scheduled at Bates College.
According to a press release issued by MPBN, LePage campaign spokesman Brent Littlefield notified the station at 4 p.m. Wednesday that LePage had decided instead to "meet with voters" as part of his "People Before Politics" initiative.
MPBN News Director Keith Shortall said he was disappointed that LePage had withdrawn from the debate, but that MPBN would go ahead with the live broadcast at the Olin Arts Center with the remaining four candidates.
The debate is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. and will be broadcast statewide on MPBN's television and radio services.
LePage also has declined to participate in debates hosted by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the Maine Municipal Association, the Island Institute in Rockland, the Times Record & Coastal Journal in Bath, the University of Maine at Machias, the Disability Rights Forum in Augusta and the GrowSmart forum in Bangor.