COLONIE — Kelly Mateja, the Democratic Party candidate for supervisor, is challenging her opponent, Republican Peter Crummey, to “no less than three open debates moderated by neutral parties.”
Our community deserves more than to see our biography and a shortlist of our ideas,” she said in a letter to Crummey. “Our fellow town residents also deserve to hear an intelligent discussion of real depth.”
It is the first time since 2007 the race for supervisor has not included an incumbent, she pointed out in the letter. The vacancy at the town’s top spot was created when Supervisor Paula Mahan announced she was retiring at the end of the year.
“I’m a political newcomer who’s never run for elected office,” Mateja said. “For 20 years, Mr. Crummey held a part-time position that did not involve day-to-day management of town government. Just as many businesses interview CEO candidates several times, Colonie voters deserve several face-to-face debates where we discuss the depth and breadth of the town’s crucial issues.”
Crummey, who is running with the Conservative Party, gave up his position as town judge to run for supervisor. Mateja, who is running with the Working Families Party endorsement, used to work in the town Planning Department and now works for the state Office for the Aging.
Crummey would not commit to three debates but said: “I look forward to participating in the time-honored debate, hosted each town election cycle, by the League of Women Voters and graciously sponsored, in part, by the Spotlight Newspapers.”
Mateja said one debate is not enough.
“I am eager to bring a new openness and transparency to town government because we must do everything we can to fight cynicism toward politics,” she said. “People deserve more than sound bites. They want real depth. And three public debates will show voters that neither of us fears leading by example.”