Democrat Delegates Duck Debates

By Guest Poster

Around the Commonwealth, incumbent Democrats in the House of Delegates are spending all their energy avoiding debates (even Steve Shannon who hopes to leave the House won’t debate his opponent in the Attorney General race, Ken Cuccinelli).

District 67–Del. Chuck Caputo, famous for skipping the 2008 Special Session on transportation, won’t debate Republican challenger Jim LeMunyon. LeMunyon has written Caputo in June, July, and August proposing debates. No response from Caputo. Must be off on another cruise (that’s why he missed the Special Session).

District 43–Del. Mark Sickles has “out of town plans” every time a community organization invites him and Republican challenger Tim Nank to a debate.

District 10–For five months, a Roanoke-area community college group has been trying to schedule a debate between Del. Onzlee Ware and Republican challenger Troy Bird. After evading the group’s calls with non-answers, Ware finally said no, hung up and won’t return calls.

District 90–Del. Algie Howell, who escaped defeat in a Democratic Party Primary in June, is so afraid of debating Republican challenger Jason Call, who has been endorsed by the Virginia Education Association, that he ignored Call’s letter proposing a debate, and now Howell leaves events early or comes late to avoid appearing with Call.

District 100–Del. Lynwood Lewis won’t respond to calls for debates either. Republican Melody Scalley challenged Lewis to weekly debates in the Eastern Shore-based district. Her calls have gone unanswered. Scalley would settle for one debate, but she can’t get Lewis to even agree to that.

District 38–Perhaps worst of all, Kaye Kory, who unseated Del. Hull, in a primary, used her primary race as an excuse to avoid debating Republican Danny Smith. When Smith wrote to Kory in June, Kory responded by saying that was too busy celebrating her primary win and wouldn’t be able to debate until after Labor Day. It’s after Labor Day and there’s only one debate on the books. Local party activists are placing bets on whether Kory will cancel.


  • CaptainCaputo says:

    Caputo certainly turned in a dismal performance in 2005 against Craddock. I am sure he’d rather not repeat the performance against a stronger candidate. Refused to debate Cadin, now he refuses to debate LeMunyon. Then he lies to his supporters about attending the special session while claiming “no one has done more” for transportation than him. A major credibility issue is emerging in this race.

  • Alter of Freedom says:

    In the 73rd incumbant John O’Bannon (R) evidently has no intention of engaging in debate with challenger Tom Shields (D), former legislative assistant to the likes of Congressman Bobby Scott (D) either. Frankly, I think debates ought to be a requirement in these races. If you are not willing to stand up a debate your positions on issues, what business do you have representing anyone.

  • Ron says:

    If it helps, I did just set up a debate between Marsden and Bolognese in the 451st District.

    As far as Caputo is concerned, he got a little “lost” in Greenbriar recently. Heh heh. 😉

  • Ron says:

    Oops! That should have been 41st District, not 451st. Sorry about that!

  • Kristy says:


    I live in the 41st and would like to see a debate- where and when? Did both candidates agree?

  • bwana says:

    Ron-when is that va 41st debate going to be?

  • VW says:

    The 2008 special session occurred over six days, and all voting on transportation legislation occurred on the sixth day. Del. Caputo was not present to make any votes on that day. It is unclear whether Caputo was present during the other five days.
    Regardless, Lemunyon has correctly called out Caputo for missing the _votes_ – not the session itself. This is an important distinction to make.

  • rabble rouser says:

    Please note that Stevens Miller is among the top-leading recipients of SEIU/ACORN money! Give it back, Steve! Give it back!

    Bulova for Fairfax County Board Chair – Sharon


    Bouchard for Delegate – Joseph


    Mathieson for Delegate – Robert


    Miller for Delegate – Stevens


    Caputo for Delegate – Chuck


    Nichols for Delegate – Paul


    Poisson for Delegate – David


    Vanderhye for Delegate – Margaret


    Democratic Party – Alexandria, Va


    Frank for Delegate – Peggy


    Hope for Delegate – Patrick


    Keam for Delegate – Mark


    Shields for Delegate – Thomas


    Surovell for Delegate – Scott A

  • Anthony says:

    This is Anthony, Del. Mark Sickles’ campaign manager. I’d like to correct any misinformation you have been given regarding debates in the 43rd district. We have been invited to just two neighborhood forums, and unfortunately both were scheduled back-to-back on October 20th and 21st, days that Del. Sickles has to be out of town for company business (as you know, the Virginia General Assembly is a part-time citizen legislature and Del. Sickles has a full-time job).

    The moderator offered two alternate dates for the Virginia Hills Civic Association forum, but apparently Mr. Nank could not appear at either of those times, whereas Del. Sickles was available for one. We then suggested six dates over the course of the next two weeks, and have yet to hear back.

    Regarding the Hayfield Farms Civic Association forum, we hope that it can be rescheduled but will send a surrogate on the 21st if it cannot.

    Del. Sickles always looks forward to talking with the people of the 43rd.

  • Ron says:


    Go to my blog and see my contact information. Send me an e-mail message, and I’ll give you the debate details.

  • CaptainCaputo says:

    VW is correct. LeMunyon has never accused Caputo of missing the entire session, just the votes. Caputo, as you would expect, it trying to muddle the issue by talking about how he attended the session. I guess he got bored and decided to head out on the high seas.

  • Diane says:

    Per – R Creigh Deeds received $200,000 form SEIU (isn’t that an off shoot of ACORN)…if this is true, where is the call for him to give it back?

  • Chris Marston says:

    Alter of Freedom-Perhaps you missed the debate O’Bannon already had with Shields. on Shields home turf, the college where he teaches. Or the debate at the Jewish Community Center on 9/21. Or the candidate fora coming up Tuesday at Richmond Crusage for Votes, Henrico NAACP on Oct. 6, State Farm on Oct. 7. You get the idea.

    Check your facts before calling out a great guy like John O’Bannon.

    Keep the Doctor in the House.

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