District 9 Challenger Seeking Debates | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

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District 9 Challenger Seeking Debates

Accuses Burgess, Democratic nominee, of dodging

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The independent challenger for the District 9 council race is looking to stir things up in the campaign to replace the district's indicted lame-duck councilor, Twanda Carlisle.

East Hills resident Dave Adams sent out a Sept. 27 press release accusing the Democratic nominee, the Rev. Ricky Burgess, of not wanting to face him in a public debate prior to the November general election. In the press release, Adams accuses Burgess of "hiding" to avoid "discussing the issues to the community at large prior to the election."

"I can't find him," Adams told CP. "I've been to his church, his job and his campaign office, which is never open. It's the weirdest thing. People are asking me when are we going to debate, and it's frustrating that I can't get an answer."

Adams and Burgess both say they will appear before the Post-Gazette editorial board on Oct. 13.

Burgess, of North Point Breeze, says he has no problem debating Adams, but says it's not the candidates' place to plan debates or set them up. Burgess says, for example, that he will attend a debate scheduled for Oct. 29 and sponsored by the Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP).

"In the primary, all the debates were sponsored by community groups," Burgess says. "B-PEP is having a program, I have been invited and I will be there. I have no problem participating in legitimate community activities."

At least one subject seems likely to be on the minds of district voters attending the B-PEP forum: Oct. 29 is also the day that Carlisle is slated to face trial on charges that she diverted public funds for her personal use.

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