GUILDERLAND A forum for the three Democratic primary candidates for 46th Senate District was called off hours before it was scheduled, but two candidates still showed up.
The Wednesday, Aug. 29, forum at the Guilderland Public Library was largely organized by candidate Mónica Arias Miranda and was to be moderated by Stephen Pampinella, executive editor of Knickerbocker Ledger. He cancelled the event in the afternoon leading up to the debate.
The Albany-based publication tweeted about six hours before the event that it was canceled “due to unforeseen circumstances.” This touched off hours of confusion that culminated with two candidates arriving to find half a dozen voters in attendance.
Arias Miranda had spearheaded setting up the forum and reached out to “several” media outlets and groups to host the event and provide a moderator to relay questions from audience members.
To see how news unfolded over social media networks on the forum being canceled, visit our Schenectady County Connection blog entry 46th Senate District forum blunder
“After that I got calls from other media saying, ‘Oh, why was it canceled?’ so I guess some of the media outlets were tweeting that it was canceled,” Arias Miranda said.
Arias Miranda and fellow Democratic candidate Thomas Dolan both said after the forum they were unaware of the cancellation until media outlets began reporting it.
Pampinella said when Arias Miranda asked him to host the forum he thought all the candidates were on board. Democrat candidate Cecilia Tkaczyk called him earlier on Wednesday, though and expressed reservations.
“I was originally under the impression that all the candidates were interested in doing it,” Pampinella said. “I found out that [Tkaczyk] thought I wasn’t a mutual moderator.”
Pampinella said he didn’t have the opportunity to contact the candidates to inform them he was canceling the forum because he was working another job in Albany during the day.