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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Roger Sherrie
Democratic mayoral candidate Roger Sherrie expressed his frustration Wednesday with the fact that he and fellow Democrat Mike Pillot will not hold any debates leading up to the Sept. 11 Democratic Primary.

Sherrie, who is also the endorsed Working Families Party candidate, issued a press release on the matter saying that people he's spoken to on the campaign trail have asked him if there would be debates between him and Pillot.

Pillot, on the other hand, said he's heard no such clamor. "Not one person asked me about a debate. Not one," Pillot said today by phone.

Pillot, who has run for mayor twice prior, said he held a meet-and-greet for voters who wanted to learn more about him. "Why do I have to debate with him? I don't have to answer to Sherrie," he said. "If I'm elected, I'm going to be working for the taxpayers."

For his part, Sherrie said he was hoping to capitalize on the “the enthusiastic interest shown by democratic voters during the petitioning process.”

Sherrie's press release follows in its entirety:
Roger L. Sherrie, Democrat and endorsed Working Families candidate for Lockport Mayor, today issued a press release stating that debates he proposed having with his primary opponent Mike Pillot will regrettably not take place. He had proposed a series of debates early in the campaign to capitalize on what he said was “the enthusiastic interest shown by democratic voters during the petitioning process."

Sherrie said he’s had so many voters ask him about the debates he felt it best to make a public Sherrie said he has been informed by City Democratic Chair Ed Tracy that Pillot has failed to respond to several emails he sent regarding preliminary plans for a debate. He said Tracy had approached him with the outline of a debate including names of a moderator and panelists. “There were still details to be worked out but nothing I heard in Tracy’s plan was a deal breaker for me.”

Initially, Pillot responded publicly that he was in favor of a debate provided nothing was “put up” and “audience members get to ask questions.” Sherrie said, “As I understand Tracy’s plan, it was to have a panel of local reporters ask questions along with taking some from the audience. It seems to me this format would have given the public a very informative program.”

Sherrie couldn’t say whether he thought there was still time to arrange for a debate should Pillot decide to participate. “The voters are the real losers here and that’s unfortunate.”

Sherrie will face Pillot in a September 10th Democratic Primary. This is the third time Pillot is running for mayor after losing elections to Mike Tucker in 2007 and 2011. Sherrie has received the backing of the Working Families Party and some major unions including the UAW, CSEA and IBEW Local 2104.

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