Democrats Boycott; East Bay General Assembly Candidate Forum Still on for Tonight

Candidate Forum to Proceed Despite Democrat Party Boycott

Ken Mendonca and John Pagliarini to Participate
Linda Finn and James Seveney Refuse Invitation

Providence, RI — Apparently 630-WPRO AM radio is not the only boycott instituted by the Rhode Island Democrat Party. Portsmouth Concerned Citizens (PCC), which for many years has successfully conducted fair and nonpartisan successful debates, will move forward tonight with its scheduled Candidate’s Night Forum for the Senate District 11 and House District 72 races. The forum, sponsored by the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity, will be conducted at 7:00 pm at the Portsmouth Council Chamber on 2200 East Main Road. The moderator for the forum will be Kate Nagle, political reporter and editor for

Incumbent Senator John Pagliarini (Republican) from District 11 has accepted the invitation, while his challenger, James Seveney (Democrat) has declined.

Vying for the open House District 72 seat, are Ken Mendonca (Republican) who has also accepted, and former Representative Linda Finn (Democrat), who similarly followed the orders of the Portsmouth Democrat party and will not take part in the event.

“It is clear that Mr. Seveny and Ms. Finn are not willing to defend the status quo failures of their party, which have caused our state to suffer from the worst business climate in the nation and the 48th rank in family prosperity,” suggested Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center.

The likely reason for the refusal to debate from the two Democrat candidates is a September 18 open letter from Leonard Katzman, Chair of the Portsmouth Democratic Town Committee. In the letter, Mr. Katzman called into question the “legitimacy” of the candidate forums and the “fairness” of the PCC.

Video recordings of the forum events will be submitted to the Public Access Studio for play on Cable Channel 16. The videos will also be posted online on the Center’s debate homepage at

The media and the public are welcome to attend and are encouraged to submit questions for the candidates. This is also an opportunity to meet the candidates and express your concerns directly. Coffee and refreshments will be served following each session.

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