Healey Rejects Third Massachusetts Gubernatorial Debate With Diehl
There will not be another debate between Republican Geoff Diehl and Democrat Maura Healey in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race that will be decided on November 8.
Diehl and Healey sparred for a second time last Thursday, but Diehl wants one more debate.
Healey said no.
Healey, believed by most political pundits to be the hands-on favorite to win the election, believes two debates are enough. Healey spokesman Karrissa Hand told MassLive in a statement, "Maura looks forward to taking her case directly to voters for the final two weeks of the campaign."
WBSM Saturday talk host Jessica Machado doesn't understand why Healey would deny the debate.
"I've never really understood why people choose not to debate," Machado said. "I think that the public deserves as many opportunities as they can get to view the candidates and how they think about things."
Machado, a member of the Somerset Republican Town Committee, said the voters need those chances.
"There are very few opportunities for voters to really see people (candidates) speak off the cuff and under pressure," she said.
Chris McCarthy, co-host of WBSM's SouthCoast Tonight, said Healey's decision appears strategic.
"Healey isn't afraid of Geoff Diehl, she is afraid of the voters and of blowing her lead," he said.
McCarthy's co-host Marcus Ferro, a Democrat activist, doesn't see a need for a third debate.
"I don't know what can be covered in the third debate that was not covered in the first two," he said.
"The questions and answers in both debates seemed nearly identical," Ferro said. "I think if the voters watched one or both debates they can get a good enough sense of where these candidates stand on the issues. It's not like there are a lot of undecided voters anyway."
But Machado said Diehl and Healey are "so completely different" and are "from opposite ends of the spectrum," leaving many voters wanting to hear more from them.
Secretary of State Bill Galvin is expecting a smaller voter turnout on November 8 than in recent years, suggesting that only the ballot questions are generating much excitement amongst voters.
McCarthy agreed, "except in Bristol County where people are excited to re-elect Sheriff Hodgson," he said.