Braddy Attends Democratic Black Caucus Forum While Lowe Attends Fundraiser
Published April 9th, 2013
GAINESVILLE - There was another eruption Monday in the acrimonious Gainesville mayoral election after a forum sponsored by members of the Democratic party drew only the Republican candidate, leaving the sponsors outraged.
For the second time in the campaign, Mayor Craig Lowe was unable to attend a forum sponsored by the Alachua County Democratic Black Caucus. Instead of debating the issues against his challenger, Ed Braddy, Lowe attended a campaign fundraiser at at the home of the local NAACP president.
As a result, the moderators of Monday night's forum took the mayor's no-show as a sign of disrespect, while Lowe attributed his non-appearance to a scheduling conflict.
"I think that we had a wonderful event tonight," said Mayor Lowe on Monday, speaking about his fundraising event. "It was very successful, and unfortunately we did schedule this far in advance of that particular forum."
"Mayor Lowe had a chance to be here tonight," said Charles Gotson, a member of the Democratic Black Caucus of Florida, and one of the forum's moderators. "We don't endorse candidates, but based on the process of elimination, this is an endorsement for Mr. Braddy."
The mayor's decision not to appear at a Democratically-sponsored event is one indication of a possible rift forming among the county's Democratic establishment. Gainesville city commissioner Yvonne Hinson-Rawls, who attended Mayor Lowe's fundraiser, criticized the Democratic Black Caucus for supporting conservative candidates in the past. Regardless, Hinson-Rawls says that played no part in the mayor's decision not to attend Monday night's forum.
Both Mayor Lowe and Braddy say they will attend the next mayoral forum to be held Tuesday, April 9 at 7 p.m. and will be sponsored by the Oak Hammock retirement community.
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