Berkshire NAACP Hits Neal For Declining Debate

Aug 10, 2018

The NAACP Berkshire County Branch says Congressman Richard Neal, a Democrat from the first Massachusetts district, has declined an invitation to debate his primary rival in Pittsfield.

Dennis Powell, president of the NAACP Berkshire County Branch, says he’s disappointed that Neal turned down the offer to debate Tahirah Amatul-Wadud ahead of the Sept. 4th primary.

“Clearly his presence in the Berkshires — I hate to say it like this — but it’s always been when there’s an opportunity for a photo op,” he said.

Powell tells WAMC that the Neal campaign’s suggestion of a meeting with branch members at an unspecified future date fell short of his expectations.

“People have not had an opportunity to ask Congressman Neal direct questions and gotten his response,” Powell told WAMC.

He said attorney Amatul-Wadud had signed on to the debate, which was to be held at the Conte Community School August 15th.  Neal’s campaign says he has agreed to debates with two media partners in hopes of reaching the most possible voters.