February 7th, 2014 | Aaron Mesh News | Posted In: Multnomah County, Politics

Snow Hasn't Discouraged Jim Francesconi From Holding Debate Without Deborah Kafoury

UPDATE: Library closure delays forum.

francesconiJim Francesconi

A little snow hasn't deterred Multnomah County chair candidate Jim Francesconi from wanting to hold a debate Saturday on economic inequality.

Neither has the refusal of his main opponent, Deborah Kafoury, to show up.

Francesconi, a former Portland city commissioner, challenged Kafoury last month to debate him at five forums. A spokeswoman for Kafoury, who recently stepped down from the Multnomah County Commission to run for chair, dismissed the debate challenge as "just a stunt."

His campaign released a statement this afternoon that, "weather permitting," he still plans to hold the first of the public forums Saturday at the Hollywood Library.

“The growing gap between rich and poor in this County and this country is of huge concern, and it’s time for our County to help do more about it,” Francesconi says in the statement.

The statement was sent at 2:19 pm—about 30 minutes after Multnomah County announced its libraries will be closed Saturday, due to heavy snowfall.

UPDATE, 3:30 pm: Francesconi campaign manager Louis De Sitter says the campaign will postpone the event because of the library closure. "We're not going to cancel," De Sitter says. "We will find another time to do it."

De Sitter notes that the Multnomah County website had not posted the library closure when he sent out the press release—and says county officials told him they wouldn't decide until 5 pm. 

UPDATE, 6 pm: Kafoury campaign spokeswoman Jillian Schoene has asked WW to note that Kafoury has accepted invitations to 14 debates.

"We are not accepting invitations for events arranged, organized and promoted for and by Jim Francesconi," Schoene says. "By leaving this out, your story makes it appear that we are somehow opposed to public discussions, when the truth is the exact opposite."

 
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