YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Democratic and Republican candidates for town office will be debating next Wednesday night—just not against each other.
The Yorktown Grange and the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce have both scheduled debates for Wednesday, Oct. 25. The Grange event, billed as a “Meet the Candidates” night, begins at 7 p.m. at its Moseman Road fairgrounds and the Chamber debate begins at 6:30 p.m. at Yorktown Firehouse.
All supervisor, council and judicial candidates were invited to participate in both debates. For the most part, participants in the debates are split down party lines.
As of this writing, neither organization plans to reschedule the time or date of its debate.
Nicole Fervan of the Yorktown Grange said she made sure there were no conflicts on the date when the organization sent out its invites on Friday, Sept. 15. She said every candidate accepted the invite except the Republican candidates for supervisor and town council.
The Grange debate is being moderated by a paid representative of the League of Women Voters.
“We’re not changing it,” Fervan said. “We put it out there first. We were kind enough to check if there was a conflict. We’re always the nice organization. We never try to step on anyone’s toes. I think we’re going to dig in on this.”
Eric DiBartolo, president of the Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, said his organization set its date “a long, long time ago” and that all Republican candidates have agreed to attend. He said the Chamber has hosted political debates for six consecutive election cycles.
“We’re definitely all set [for Oct. 25],” DiBartolo said.
Elliott Krowe, co-chair of the Yorktown Democratic Committee, said his candidates accepted the Grange invitation before the Chamber of Commerce announced its date.
“We committed to something that was scheduled long before [the Chamber debate],” Krowe said. “We’re ready to debate, we’re ready to discuss the issues. We’ll meet them wherever, so long as we don’t have a prior commitment."
Matt Slater, chair of the Yorktown Republican Town Committee, said Republican candidates have historically participated in the Chamber of Commerce's debate and committed to do so again this year.
Fervan hopes the issue is resolved before next Wednesday.
“We invited everybody,” she said. “It’s their choice if they choose to come or not.”