Frank Scaturro, the Conservative candidate in the 4th Congressional District, lambasted his opponents for failing to show up at a League of Women Voters-sponsored debate at Nassau Community College Tuesday night.
The absence of Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and Republican Legis. Francis Becker "shows disrespect for their hosts and the voters they expect to vote for them — including, in Mr. Becker’s case, many of his own supporters who . . . [left] when their candidate decided not to come at the last minute,” said Scaturro, of Hempstead.
Becker, of Lynbrook, reached Wednesday, said he was on his way to the debate, which was to start at 7:30 p.m., when one of his campaign people called and told him there were only two chairs and Scaturro was in one of them.
“Well, I wasn’t going to debate Scaturro," he said. "I was going to debate McCarthy, who the League told me would be there. She wasn’t, so instead, I went to a ‘meet and greet’ function at Carltun on the Park, which I had previously rejected for the debate.”
Rasheida Smith, McCarthy’s campaign manager, said: "We told the League weeks ago that we couldn't attend this event.”
Scaturro said NCC professor Phyllis Kurland apologized to the audience for the no-shows, saying that after initially confirming her attendance, McCarthy’s office indicated she would not attend.
Becker said nobody told him that until he was on his way. “I would not have accepted an invitation to simply debate Mr. Scaturro,” he said. Becker defeated Scaturro in a primary for the GOP line last month, while Scaturro beat Becker for the Conservative line by staging a write-in campaign.