In his July 31 article “Michaud will only participate in debates when LePage does,” Scott Thistle accurately recounts my comments as to the tactical considerations of the candidates for governor when it comes to debates.

Indeed, I told Thistle that it is both understandable and typical for incumbents to want to debate less, for challengers, especially independents, to want to debate more. And I said that tactically it makes sense that the Democratic nominee, U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud, only wants to debate the Republican incumbent.

Left out of the article, however, were comments that I made stressing the value of public discourse in a gubernatorial campaign.

It is important that your readers know that the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce and I feel that there is tremendous value in candidates appearing together in debates in all regions of the state. We are bitterly disappointed that first Gov. LePage and then Michaud turned us down for an event we’ve hosted in previous contests. We appreciate independent Eliot Cutler’s steadfast willingness to debate whenever and wherever.

As a nonpartisan organization, our chamber takes no side in the race for governor. But we are always on the side of a well-informed electorate, especially when it comes to issues important to the Bangor region business community.

John Porter, president and CEO

Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce

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