Massachusetts Candidate Hoping To Unseat Elizabeth Warren Blasts GOP Opponents For Avoiding Debates


Neetu Chandak Education and Politics Reporter
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  • U.S. Senate candidate Beth Lindstrom blasted GOP opponents Geoff Diehl and John Kingston on Twitter for avoiding two debates Monday.
  • This is the fourth time both candidates did not show up for the debates, according to the Lindstrom campaign.
  • Two news producers said all three candidates were asked to debate since May.

A Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate hoping to unseat Sen. Elizabeth Warren blasted Republican opponents for skipping two debates Monday.

“My opponents dodged two of our requested debates today, but I showed up,” Beth Lindstrom tweeted Monday.

“Really disappointed that @johnkingstonma and @DiehlforSenate continue ducking debates,” Lindstrom said in a separate tweet. “They may not realize it, but they are giving @SenWarren an excuse not to debate either of them in the fall.”

State Rep. Geoff Diehl would debate only if every Republican candidate was present, while businessman John Kingston opted out, according to a tweet by Greater Boston.

Spokeswoman for Lindstrom’s campaign, Katie Trudeau, told The Daily Caller News Foundation there were a total of five debates that occurred so far, out of which both opponents ducked four.

Diehl’s campaign spokeswoman Holly Robichaud, however, said Diehl debated statewide many times, including an open-question forum at the Boston Herald, where all three candidates were present, on Aug. 7.

“We have another debate scheduled for 8.28 [Aug. 28],” Robichaud told TheDCNF in an email. “One candidate who lost the convention by 30 points and came in last in fundraising is desperate for attention.”

Kingston’s communications director Joseph Cueto told TheDCNF that the campaign was more focused on grassroots efforts.

“He [Kingston] is a firm believer in sharing his message directly with voters across the Commonwealth and unfortunately isn’t able to attend every event he is invited to,” Cueto said.

The Boston Herald debate did not have as much reach on Massachusetts airwaves, given that listeners had to tune-in online rather than being on a broadcasted radio channel, limiting access to debate viewership, according to Trudeau.

WCVB reached out to candidates for the debate in May as they were working on putting together the debate for Aug. 9, senior producer Rosemary Lappin told TheDCNF. The producer had a series of phone conversations with the Kingston campaign which eventually led to a decline.

The Diehl campaign would not do a debate until they knew about the format.

“Over the course of the summer, I would periodically check in and when the format was done, I sent it to her [Robichaud] and she said, you know, she declined,” Lappin said to TheDCNF.

Azita Ghahramani, an executive producer at WGBH News, also reached out to the three candidates in late May, but struggled to communicate with Kingston after multiple phone calls and emails.

“On July 30th, someone from the Kingston campaign finally got back to me,” Ghahramani told TheDCNF. “They were unable to give me a yes or no. After more phone calls, emails and texts, I finally heard back from them the Friday before Monday’s debate to tell me they were unable to participate.”

The debates come prior to the Massachusetts Republican primaries on Sept. 4. (RELATED: Massachusetts Police Chiefs Fire Back After Elizabeth Warren Calls The System Racist)

Lindstrom is a small business owner and the executive director of the Massachusetts State Lottery, according to her campaign website. She was also the first woman to be the executive director for the Massachusetts Republican party.

Diehl won the Republican party’s nomination in April and is the expected front-runner, according to the Sentinel & Enterprise. He has been a state Rep. since 2011, according to Diehl’s website.

Lindstrom went after Diehl for accepting $15,000 stipend increase that allegedly went toward office expenses on Monday. It was reported, however, that the money went to charities like the Red Cross and Salvation Army, the Enterprise reported.

Kingston was a businessman who also headed Sword & Spoon Group, “a mix of non-profit and for-profit initiatives that focuses on strengthening all facets of civic life — in public policy, education, arts, and service,” according to his campaign website.

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