Bristol County Sheriff candidates debate whether they're debating; looks like they're on

NEW BEDFORD — Candidates for Bristol County Sheriff are debating whether they're debating.

Democratic challenger Paul Heroux issued a press release Thursday morning stating that incumbent Republican Sheriff Tom Hodgson has refused to debate him, or appear at a non-debate forum.

According to the Heroux release, "The latest refusal was when he backed out of a debate he previously agreed to participate in, slated to be moderated by Jack Spillane of the New Bedford Light, on the WBSM radio station. Earlier, he refused an offer by the League of Women Voters for a debate. He was asked to attend a forum, hosted by the New Bedford branch of the NAACP, where both candidates would be allowed to state their views, but not debate each other. He did not respond to several efforts on behalf of the NAACP to reach out to him."

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According to the Heroux release, "There is currently an invitation by Ted Nesi and Tim White of WPRI for a recorded television debate on Friday, Oct. 28. As of today, it’s unclear whether Hodgson has accepted the invitation. Heroux states that, 'It’s in the interest of the public to hear the candidates’ views and have an opportunity to compare them.'"

Hodgson responded through spokesperson Holly Robichaud: "Just like in the Primary, Mr. Heroux is not being honest. That's why one of the Democrats called him a liar and is refusing to endorse him. The Sheriff has agreed to more debates than the Attorney General candidates and the candidates for Governor combined."

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Incumbent Republican Thomas M. Hodgson faces a challenge for the Bristol County sheriff office from Democrat Paul Heroux..
Incumbent Republican Thomas M. Hodgson faces a challenge for the Bristol County sheriff office from Democrat Paul Heroux..

It's added in the statement that WPRI has tweeted out that Heroux's statement is false.

Ted Nesi tweeted this morning, "So two of the Bristol County sheriff debates that Heroux claimed this morning might not be happening are, in fact, happening." WPRI News Director Karen Rezendes confirmed the Oct. 28 debate has been accepted by both sides and is scheduled.

Marcus Ferro tweeted regarding WBSM this morning, "Received confirmation a week ago from both camps that Sheriff Hodgson and Paul Heroux will debate Wednesday, Oct. 19, 7 p.m. on WBSM1420's SouthCoast Tonight, moderated by me and Christopher McCarthy. Double checked just now and we're still confirmed."

Hodgson's statement added, "We have agreed to debates on channel 10, 12 and WBSM. We strongly believe that anyone involved with public safety should not lie.  Clearly, the only person people can trust is Sheriff Tom Hodgson."

This article originally appeared on Standard-Times: Bristol County Sheriff's candidates debate whether they're debating