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Primary Debate to be Scheduled in Freehold Borough

What questions do you think the primary candidates should answer? Tell us in the comments!

It's official. There will be a primary debate in this year.

Dan Xavier, member and Democratic council candidate, reached out to his fellow candidates, , and requested a a face-to-face public debate.

According to , he hopes a debate will help educate the public about their primary choices "in an effort to better inform the residents of our positions on a variety of topics."

Although there is not a set date for the debate, all democratic candidates are in. Republican candidates Marianne Earle and John Newman have been invited as well. Below is a copy of the letter sent in reply to Xavier's request.

April 25, 2012

Dear Mr. Xavier:

We are responding to your earlier correspondence regarding a proposed debate between the candidates for Freehold Borough Council.

As the approved candidates of the Freehold Borough Democratic Party, we cordially accept, provided this debate involves all candidates.

We cite the following phrase from your letter, “…voters should also have the opportunity to consider each of the candidacies side by side.”

We believe it would be advantageous to the voters of Freehold Borough to know the positions and platform of each candidate.  For this reason, we wish to include the Republican Candidates in any and all such debates.  They are being invited to this debate by a copy of this letter.

We acknowledge the importance of the League of Women Voters and their historic position as moderators of such political debates.   We agree to conform to the established guidelines as defined by the League of Women Voters. 

We, likewise, accept your proposal that the campaign teams have the opportunity to negotiate specific event details.  We have asked the Republican candidates to respond no later than May 14, 2012.


Sharon Shutzer                                    

Ron Griffiths

cc:  News Transcript, Freehold Patch,  League of Women Voters, Freehold Borough Republican Club, Marianne Earle and John Newman

What questions do you think should be asked at the debate? Tell us in the comments!

Michele Tidd Pfannenstiel April 28, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Hey! This is awesome! Can't wait! Do we get to submit a list of questions?
Dan Xavier April 29, 2012 at 03:58 AM
I certainly agree the voters of Freehold Borough deserve a true Democratic/Republican candidates debate ahead of the November General Election. However I find it odd that my opponents for the DEMOCRATIC Primary Election insisting on having Republican candidates present at a debate designed to inform DEMOCRATIC voters of the positions for each DEMOCRATIC candidate ahead of the DEMOCRATIC Primary Election. And after relaying the above request to the non-partisan League of Women Voters, they were also perplexed by my opponents suggestion. (It'd be akin to having a Democratic President on stage during the Republican Primary debates!) I assume this was simply an innocent misunderstanding on the part of my DEMOCRATIC opponents - no worries. That said, the DEMOCRATIC Primary Election is right around the corner on June 5th and I believe it'd be necessary to hold a DEMOCRATIC Primary debate by no later than May 20th to really provide voters with enough time to make an informed decision. I look forward to my DEMOCRATIC opponent's responses to my proposed DEMOCRATIC Primary debate dates: • Saturday, May 12th (Anytime between 2pm – 8pm) • Saturday, May 19th (Anytime between 2pm – 8pm) • Sunday, May 20th (Anytime between 2pm – 8pm) Sincerely, Dan Xavier
Dan Xavier April 29, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Michele - I would welcome any and all questions. Dan Xavier
Michele Tidd Pfannenstiel April 29, 2012 at 01:46 PM
I agree, it is a little weird. Questions I'd like to see addressed: 1) What is your plan for economic development downtown? Do you see a need for zoning changes? 2) Our sidewalks are in shambles. What is your plan for fixing them so that I can push a stroller and my kid can ride his bike without major hindrance? 3) Traffic is a major problem downtown at certain times and there are a lot of neighborhoods that are used as cut throughs. What congestion/speed amelioration measures do you support? 4) how do you plan on working with the BOE to improve the schools? Do you support Beta Charter? How do you see the link between the scores of our elementary/middle schools on greatschools.net/schooldigger.com and our home prices? Thanks!
Team Sheen April 29, 2012 at 01:53 PM
LOL - invite Republicans to a debate for the primary of Democrats. Appears some may be rusty on how the process is supposed to work. This is necessary for the health of the Democratic party. Good job making this happen.
Team Sheen April 29, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Dan - be sure to send those dates to the candidates & not just posted on Patch. Wouldn't want any misunderstandings that could hinder the debate.
Dan Xavier April 29, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I agree with you 100%, so I made sure to send an official letter to the Democratic Committee's headquarters yesterday reiterating potential days/times for a Democratic Primary debate. I'll keep everyone posted on what I hear... Dan Xavier
Show me the money April 29, 2012 at 02:28 PM
This should be a Democratic debate only, as a party member and a Freehold Borough resident I would like to hear from my parties candidates. There will be plenty of time after the primary for all candidates to debate before November. With that I think the invite to the Republican candidates should be rescinded.
Richard Berger April 30, 2012 at 10:06 PM
I agree with Mr. Xavier, Bruce and Team Sheen. The democratic primary should be a place for those in attendance to hear the candidates they will be voting for in the primary. Would this debate be funded by the Democratic party? If so, it would be very nice of them to allow the Republicans a cost free chance to make their case to the voters and potentially steal some votes. Just saying...
Brian Sullivan May 01, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Hannah, you are incorrect. Mr. Le vine was not on the selection team.
Team Sheen May 01, 2012 at 03:27 AM
I hope the Patch stays neutral for comments regardless of who their "Patch Posters" are. Was not sure if Hannah's post was deleted due to offensiveness or because she did not agree with Marc who is a "Patch Poster." I guess we will see.
Brian Sullivan May 01, 2012 at 10:40 AM
Or Hannah may have deleted he own post
Mike May 01, 2012 at 11:27 AM
I may be missing something here but why is Mr Griffin responding as the "running mate" with Mrs Shutzer, shouldn't he be doing all of this independently like Dan is? Maybe I missed something but it seems the dems are already putting Griffin ahead of Xavier? Am I wrong here?
Susan Greitz May 01, 2012 at 01:07 PM
The Democratic Committee selected two candidates to run, Mrs. Shutzer and Mr. Griffin. Mr. Xavier wishes to run as well, thus prompting the primary debate - so Democratic Primary voters can decide which two candidates they want to run on the ticket.
Mike May 01, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Susan, Thank you for clarifying that for me. I thought it was odd but wasn't sure what was happening. I thought the former mayor announced that Marc LeVine would be running again? Am I correct with that? I thought it was after last years election.
Dan Xavier May 01, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Michele - It appears there's a very good chance that my DEMOCRATIC opponents bizarre and unusual demand that Republican candidates participate in a DEMOCRATIC Primary debate will most likely prevent a DEMOCRATIC Primary debate from occurring before the DEMOCRATIC Primary Election. That said you deserve a response to your questions above and I will be addressing each of them in tomorrow's blog entry on the Freehold Patch. Dan Xavier
Mike May 01, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Dan, With all due respect, does it really surprise you that they are making this difficult? From what I understand for years now the dems are against debates and have made it nearly impossible year after year to happen. I guess somethings never change!
Michele Tidd Pfannenstiel May 03, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Why on earth would they be against debates? They improve voter turnout, are good for democracy and for crying out loud, it's not like you aren't also a Democrat. But maybe since you weren't hand picked they are thumbing their nose at you. Childish.


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