LEWISTON — The campaigns of the leading candidates in Maine’s U.S. Senate race continued Wednesday to snipe at each other over who was attending which debates and who was dodging voters.

Just hours before they were to take the stage in Bangor for another debate, the campaign of Republican candidate Charlie Summers chastised independent candidate Angus King for not participating in another debate earlier in the day.

A news release issued by Drew Brandewie, Summers’ campaign spokesman, charged that former Gov. King “skipped” a debate  hosted by the Maine Motor Transport Association in Augusta.

Brandewie said he was noting King’s absence because King’s campaign had noted the same when Maine Secretary of State Summers was unable to attend a public event.

“King’s campaign even put out a press release insinuating that, despite doing more than five debates, three town halls, three tele-town halls and numerous rallies across the state, Charlie is afraid to face voters,” Brandewie said.

But King campaign manager Crystal Canney said there was a distinct difference in the debates Summers missed and the one missed Wednesday morning by King.

“Angus declined the invitation in September because of a conflict on the schedule at the time,” Canney said.  “Unlike Charlie Summers, he does not accept invitations and then back out. We have had 40-plus invitations and accepted about 20. Charlie has accepted and then canceled upwards of seven debates.”
Event organizer Brian Parke, president of the Maine Motor Transport Association, which has about 120 members, confirmed that King declined the invitation and was never scheduled to appear.
Parke also noted that Democratic candidate Cynthia Dill, a state senator from Cape Elizabeth, accepted an invitation and then canceled due to a scheduling conflict.

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