The GOP’s April ‘22 decision to “withdraw” from official presidential debates, is also echoed by national and local Republican candidates that refuse to debate the issues with someone in their own party and face their voters. Diane Labovitz notes Budd’s repeated absence from any debates. Locally, Republican candidate and incumbent DA Brandy Cook declined to participate in the NAACP DA debate on 4/27/22 or the 4/28/22 DA debate sponsored by Women for Community Justice, Salisbury Indivisible, and Rowan Concerned Citizens. Her Republican opponent, Paxton Butler, showed up at both events.    

I will begin this letter by clarifying that I am a registered Democrat and therefore will not be voting in the Republican primary. However, I hope unaffiliated and Republican voters have been paying attention to Rep. Ted Budd’s repeated absences from the North Carolina Senate Republican primary debates.

This past Tuesday’s debate was the fourth since February in which Budd has declined to participate. Apparently he thinks that being endorsed by the former, twice-impeached president is all the voters need to know in order to earn their votes. Sadly, according to polls, he may be correct. One has to wonder what this says about our current political culture when a candidate is so smug as to think he is above the need to debate important issues with his opponents in order for the voters to make an informed decision.

Diane Labovitz