Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mayoral candidates set to debate Thursday morning

Stavrinakis holds press conference with unmanned lectern

Posted by Dustin Waters on Wed, Nov 11, 2015 at 11:09 AM

click to enlarge Mayoral candidate Leon Stavrinakis appeared opposite an unmanned lectern to voice his claims that fellow candidate John Tecklenburg has been unwilling to debate - DUSTIN WATERS
  • Dustin Waters
  • Mayoral candidate Leon Stavrinakis appeared opposite an unmanned lectern to voice his claims that fellow candidate John Tecklenburg has been unwilling to debate
Another day, another series of back-to-back press conferences held by the two candidates competing to be the next mayor of Charleston. Luckily, in the last few days before the Nov. 17 runoff election, John Tecklenburg and Leon Stavrinakis have managed to keep things interesting. 

Perhaps the best moment in the recent campaign history came Tuesday afternoon as Stavrinakis appeared opposite an unmanned lectern to address the media. No other speakers had been announced for the press conference, so the presence of the additional reading stand raised a few eyebrows. When asked by local news crews if the additional lectern needed a microphone, Stavrinakis’ team said that no mic was needed, but the seemingly unnecessary stand was vital to the shot.

Gesturing to the empty lectern to his left, Stavrinakis made his case clear, saying that in recent days Tecklenburg has been unwilling to meet him in a debate. Stavrinakis’ claim is echoed by a new series of TV ads released by his campaign.

Earlier in the day, Tecklenburg appeared with a group of supporters, including Charleston City Council members Keith Waring and James Lewis Jr. as well as state Rep. Chip Limehouse, to address what his campaign is calling “attack ads” released by Stavrinakis. Premiering on a local TV station Tuesday morning, the commercials touch on many of the claims leveled against Tecklenburg in recent days by his fellow candidate. Tecklenburg once again argued against allegations that he is a “developer” and that he opposes the completion of I-526. Regarding Stavrinakis’ accusation that his competitor has avoided a public debate, Tecklenburg’s campaign points to previous debates and forums in which both candidates participated before the Nov. 3 election.

Proving that sometimes a little showmanship and a lonely lectern can go a long way, Starvinakis’ camp says that Tecklenburg agreed to a one-on-one radio debate shortly after Tuesday’s press event. The two candidates are scheduled to appear live Thursday morning at 9 a.m. with host Charlie James on 1250 WTMA. The station says that during the forum, the host will be taking listeners’ questions for the candidates by Facebook, Twitter, and phone at 843-556-1250.

Stavrinakis’ team is calling for more debates, preferably televised and occurring later in the day. Regardless of what happens next, it should be interesting to have these two candidates in the same room again.

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