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In an e-mail to supporters sent Tuesday, Democratic Nassau County comptroller candidate Howard Weitzman blasted Republican Comptroller George Maragos for “ducking” a series of debate invites -- a claim Maragos rejects, noting the duo have a debate scheduled on Oct. 10.
“Weitzman is disingenuous and flat-out lying in an effort to raise money,” Maragos said in a phone interview Wednesday.
Maragos’ campaign pointed to an Aug. 13 e-mail from the League of Women Voters of Nassau County confirming a debate between the two on Oct. 10.
Weitzman’s campaign said the fundraising e-mail refers to a July 30 letter they sent Maragos via certified mail, requesting five debates throughout the county, to which they received no response. Maragos said he never received the letter and emphasized he was already participating in the Oct. 10 debate.
Weitzman’s e-mail prompted Democratic Nassau County Executive Candidate Adam Haber to seize on the debate “ducking” claims. For months, Haber has tried unsuccessfully to schedule at least one debate with former Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi before the Sept. 10 primary. Suozzi is running on a slate endorsed by the Nassau Democratic party that includes Weitzman.
On Aug. 1, Haber’s campaign launched the website SuozziDebateDuck.com and the twitter handle @Debateduck, to pressure Suozzi into accepting a debate with Haber.
“I’m glad that Howard is on board with debating,” Haber said in a statement Wednesday. “I just hope Tom [Suozzi] read this e-mail from his slate candidate running mate, Howard, where he calls for debates.”
Suozzi’s campaign spokesman Danny Kazin declined to comment.