On Tuesday, October 20, 2015 candidates for the 29th Assembly District met for their second debate. Alicia Hyndman, Democrat, and Scherie Murray, Republican and on the Reform Party Line, squared off in their hopes of becoming the next Assembly member for the district.
In a debate that started exceedingly late while the candidates attended another function, the Republican candidate failed to convince the crowd in this Democratic stronghold why she should be their new Assembly member.
That didn’t mean the front-running candidate was gaining the hearts and convincing the minds of those present. “There is something missing,” said a debate attendee, who asked to remain nameless, of candidate Alicia Hyndman. While Alicia is thoughtful, versed on community issues, most voters expressed a hesitancy towards her candidacy. There was an uncertainty, a feeling they were hard-pressed to pinpoint that made them unable to fully support her candidacy. Interestingly, most voters willing to express their concerns about the candidate, were unwilling to go on record with their doubts.
Voters at the debate expressed concern that they rarely see Murray at events in the community.
“I see her when she is running for something,” said Kim Francis, President of Concerned Citizens of Laurelton. Murray had most recently previously run for City Council.
It isn’t just Murray that is absent, but her party. Murray was careful to mention being both a Reform and Republican Candidate. Being a Republican definitely sets her apart in this primarily Democrat Assembly District. While Democrats were plentiful in the house, there wasn’t much in the way of Republicans, key Republican Officials or party’s backers at the venue. In addition, all the debates in this series have been sponsored by Democratic clubs. Why aren’t the Republican clubs, (albeit not located in the area) taking the opportunity to showcase their candidate? That absence leads to questions of who is backing her, which surfaced during the debate.
“Who is backing you? Are they from this community? What is their purpose,” Hyndman asked her opponent during an interchange involving communications from current leadership about concerns in the community.
For the most part, candidates had similar stances on the issues with no earth-shattering revelations on how their candidacy would revive the area. The issue that arose at the last debate, at whichHyndman referred to being a part-time representative, made its way to the debate during its close. Both Hyndman and Murray reconfirmed their commitment to being full time representatives. That is, if they are elected. For more information, read more here.