District 3 Debate Developments

In case you missed it, Paul Meltzer has challenged to Don Duff to three different debates in District 3 before early voting begins on May 30.

As of May 15, Duff has declined all three debates proposed by Meltzer but will be present at the NAACP & LULAC joint forum on Saturday, May 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Meltzer will be holding a meet-and-greet this Saturday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m. at Lucky Lou’s on Hickory Street, in the business center of District 3. At 7:00 p.m., Meltzer will address council issues from this current week, address citizen issues, and leave an open invitation for Duff to join him.

“I have agreed to go to the NAACP & LULAC Panel,” Duff. "We’re getting too late [in this election], and I’ve got too many things going on.” His concern seems focused on the location, with this being one of many debates at a local watering hole. "We’re not going to get that many people out [to the panels] anyways,” Duff said. With Backyard on Bell drawing close to 150 people for The Dentonite's forum and close to 100 at the We Denton Do It debate at Dan’s Silverleaf, maybe these local bars are serving up more than cold drinks and actually creating a space where the younger members of the community feel comfortable going and being heard.

Duff's lack of participation won't deter Meltzer from still holding his proposed three debates. “I Invited Duff to participate in three debates — one at Robson Ranch, one in the Fry Street area, and a mock city council meeting,” said Meltzer. “I feel it is important to respond directly to District 3 citizen concerns and to show we can deal in real time with issues before the city council. [Duff] remains invited to participate, even at the last minute, on equal footing.”

Duff suggested that Robson Ranch was not interested in holding a panel and locking down a location for a proposed date by Meltzer may prove more difficult than anticipated.

After a flurry of panels during the regular election season, three more before early voting seems like a daunting task to accomplish, particularly with the low voter turnout in District 3. With only two weeks before early voting begins, this feels overambitious and Duff saying that “we’ve been through this stuff already” is warranted.

Are panels really what will engage the citizens of District 3, or Dentonite's in general? Can creating these opportunities for community members to come out and get to know their candidates do the job we need it to do as far as increased voter participation? Despite the proposed locations for the panels spread across District 3, it will take some strong footwork by the teams and their current supporters to get more people to the polls.

 Header image design by Christopher Rodgers