A 5th District congressional forum, planned for Monday, has been canceled because GOP candidate Ralph Norman will not attend, according to AARP, which planned to host the event at Winthrop University.
Democratic candidate Archie Parnell of Sumter said he would attend. But, instead of a hosting a single-candidate forum, AARP canceled the event.
“AARP South Carolina is disappointed that Mr. Norman declined our invitation to take part in the forum,“ said Teresa Arnold, S.C. director of AARP, a non-partisan organization for retirees.
Four 5th District candidates — Norman, Parnell, Green Party candidate David Kulma and American Party candidate Josh Thornton — will take part in a June 15 forum hosted by SCETV. Libertarian candidate Victor Kocher also has been invited, ETV said.
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That forum will air Friday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m.
Norman’s campaign weighed in Thursday afternoon.
“It is unfortunate that the AARP and both campaigns were unable to find a suitable date, but (we) are looking forward to next week’s forum with SCETV,” said Norman spokesman R.J. May III.
Parnell criticized Norman, saying, “The voters deserve having both candidates debate face to face.”