GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Democratic Congressional candidate Bill Shein confirmed on Friday that he has accepted invitations from six media outlets across the new 1st Congressional District to debate the other candidates in the race, longtime 2nd District incumbent Rep. Richard Neal and the Berkshire Middle District Register of Deeds Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr.
Since March, he has agreed to the following events, all of which will take place during Congress' summer recess that begins on Saturday, Aug. 4:
1. New England Public Radio (NEPR): Live one-hour forum, week of Aug. 6
2. WGBY Public Television: Airing Monday, Aug. 20, 8 p.m.
3. Pittsfield Gazette (broadcast on local cable): Public forum at Berkshire Community College, Monday, Aug. 27, 7 p.m.
4. Westfield News: Public forum at Westfield State University, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 7 p.m.
5. WWLP/NBC22 TV: Live 30-minute debate, week of Aug. 27
6. WBEC/WSBS/WNAW radio (covers all of Berkshire County): Live 60-minute debate in mid/late August TBD
Shein issued the following statement:
"Restoring a robust, healthy democracy that ensures the people's priorities set the agenda in Washington requires substantive, independent, in-depth press coverage. These media-sponsored debates and forums, some of which will include a live audience, will help provide that to voters across the new First District.
"I strongly believe that ideas, and candidates, should sink or swim on the merits, not on how much money is behind them. For decades, public policy in the United States has been undermined and distorted by billions of dollars in campaign contributions and lobbying by status-quo corporate and wealthy interests. Today, that money drowns out the voices and ideas we need more than ever, and puts an extra burden on the media to properly inform the public about candidates and issues.
"This is a fine example of local journalism playing its vital and necessary role in our democracy. I fully expect the other candidates to join me at all six of these media-sponsored events – conveniently scheduled during Congress' monthlong summer recess – for a discussion of the full range of domestic and foreign-policy issues."
NorthAdams.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
The state is holding a special election to fill the seat vacated by John F. Kerry, who has been confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.
The state primary is Tuesday, April 30. The last day to register to vote or to change party affiliation for the primary is Wednesday, April 10. Enrolled voters may only vote in their party primary; unenrolled voters may select a primary to vote in without changing their status.
The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25. The last day to register to vote in the election is Wednesday, June 5.
To register to vote, one must be at least age 18 by the date of the election, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the municipality in which you are voting.