District 15 Democratic primary candidates set schedule for joint events
The Democratic candidates for the District 15 state Senate seat have agreed to four joint events in the next several weeks, but not without some debate about the schedule itself.
Concord attorney Dan Feltes and Concord School Board member Kass Ardinger will be on the primary ballot to replace outgoing state Sen. Sylvia Larsen, who has held the seat for 20 years. The district includes Concord, Henniker, Hopkinton and Warner. Not all event details have been finalized, but the candidates are scheduled to appear together on the following dates:
∎ July 29 at 7 p.m.: This event will be a community forum at the home of former state representative Christine Hamm. The address is 14 South Road in Hopkinton, and anyone interested in attending can RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, 746-4919, 746-4991 or 456-3371.
∎ Aug. 18.: The League of Women Voters will host this event, but the location and time have not yet been determined.
∎ Sept. 3.: This joint forum at Havenwood-Heritage Heights in Concord is primarily for residents of that community.
∎ Sept. 4.: The candidates will meet for a debate at New England College in Henniker.
Feltes sent an email yesterday to Ardinger and members of the local news media to request four debates, one in each of the District 15 communities.
“Such an approach is healthy for our democracy and would better inform voters about our respective visions for the future of Senate District 15 and our state,” he wrote.
Ardinger responded to point out the four events listed above, which had already been agreed to by both candidates. In the email exchange, Feltes pushed for more debates, rather than community forums. But Ardinger responded that the existing schedule would afford “a full opportunity” for the public to learn about the candidates.
“There are people who are studying both candidacies, and I think they would like to have the opportunity to hear us at the same venue and the same event to compare and contrast us as candidates,” Ardinger said in a phone interview yesterday.
Feltes declined to comment beyond the text of the emails. Both Hamm and former state representative Bob Williams, who is organizing the forum at the retirement community, agreed their events are not formal debates. Instead, they said the candidates will have the chance for a brief speech before opening the floor to questions from the audience.
“They’re both running, and I think there’s many people here who don’t know either of them,” Hamm said.
“It’s very interesting how much you can learn about a person, you know, whether you want to vote for them or not,” Williams said.
The primary is Sept. 9. Lydia Harman of Warner has also filed to run as a Republican in the November general election.
(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)