For Immediate Release:
January 18, 2024
Pilip Blames Ducking Debates on “Busy” Schedule but Has Little to Show for It
Suozzi has committed to more than 10 debates or candidate forums while Pilip continues to hide
Glen Cove, NY – Less than four weeks from Election Day, Mazi Pilip continues to hide from voters by claiming that she’s too “busy” to participate in debates:
Suozzi has repeatedly criticized Pilip for so far only agreeing to participate in one televised debate. When asked about this, she said she does not have much time because of the abbreviated campaign schedule. “I’m very, very busy meeting the people, hearing the people and being on the press,” she said. [NY1]
Pilip’s campaign told Blank Slate Media that the Republican had scheduling conflicts that day and Lakeville Estates was made aware of them. “Mazi Pilip has opened a productive and enjoyable dialogue with the media and the public regarding the issues that are of concern to neighbors, Mazi has committed to a televised debate and never changed her position on that,” Aidan Strongreen said in a statement. [The Island 360]
Devine said Pilip had a number of commitments and could not accommodate the networks’ requests in the limited time she has to campaign.
“Mazi is working to accommodate as many media requests as possible leading up to the special election,” Devine said in a statement. “As such, she has already agreed to a televised debate. Unfortunately, her schedule has quickly filled up, making some other requested debate dates unworkable. Mazi has prioritized spending time attending community events and meeting with voters throughout the 3rd District, listening to their feedback regarding the issues that are of concern to their communities.” [Newsday]
Pressed further on why Pilip has not accepted several debate invites, communications director Brian Devine told the Chronicle via email Tuesday that while Pilip “will continue to be a visible presence” in the Queens section of the 3rd Congressional District, “Unfortunately, her schedule has quickly filled up, making some other requested debate dates unworkable.” [Queens Chronicle]
No other debates have been agreed upon, but they are “actively working on her schedule,” campaign spokesperson Aidan Strongreen said. [Patch]
In reality, Mazi Pilip has held less than 10 public campaign appearances with the people of Nassau and Queens since she first launched her campaign. In contrast, Suozzi has held or attended over 40 public campaign events in the last six weeks. Even more unbelievable, Pilip has not held one single event where she has taken questions from voters.
“As a fellow candidate I understand how busy our schedules can be, but it doesn’t compare to the working moms and dads who are raising their families on too little income and even less time. Anyone who wants to serve in Congress owes it to those families to make sure they have an informed choice,” said Suozzi.
“The only real way to do that is through debates, and I will debate my opponent on any day, any hour, any location, and any format to put forth our platforms on key issues like immigration, taxes, and crime.”
Last week was the first candidate forum hosted by the Lakeville Estates Civic Association that Pilip was a no show.
On Wednesday, the Syosset-Woodbury, Plainview-Old Bethpage, and Hicksville Chambers of Commerce held a joint candidate forum beginning at 7:30 AM that Pilip declined, citing a “scheduling conflict.” At 7:30 in the morning. Later that day, We Love Whitestone held a candidate forum that Suozzi attended, but although Pilip was at an event .2 miles away, she told the organizers she would not be able to participate.
“In the wake of George Santos, it is incumbent upon candidates to go out of their way to be as transparent as possible,” said Suozzi. “The most sure-fire way to do that is to participate in debates and candidate forums, to listen to voters, answer their questions, and defend your positions.
“Mazi Pilip is running the same non-transparent campaign as Santos did.”
Tom Suozzi is routinely meeting with voters across the district and has accepted more than 10 debate and candidate forum invites and will likely accept more.
Why is Mazi Pilip hiding?
Tom Suozzi, trained as an attorney and CPA, is the former Congressman for New York’s 3rd Congressional District, Nassau County Executive, and Mayor of Glen Cove. Tom has committed his 30-year public service career to delivering for his constituents. His philosophy of working with anyone who shares his goal of solving problems and delivering for his constituents has guided his career and led to notable accomplishments on issues including protecting the environment, common-sense gun safety, full access to reproductive health care, immigration, caring for our veterans, affordable healthcare, and fiscal responsibility.