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DA debate on again in Essex County

ELIZABETHTOWN - A once-cancelled debate between candidates for Essex County District Attorney has been reinstated after a challenger agreed to participate.

Republican-endorsed candidate Kristy Sprague had originally declined an invitation to participate in an Aug. 27 debate scheduled at Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School, citing a desire to wait until after the Sept. 15 primary election.

After a conversation with Adirondack Daily Enterprise editor Peter Crowley, however, Sprague ultimately decided to join the debate.

"When Peter Crowley called me I suggested to him that there may still be a forum that can be used on Aug. 27," said Sprague. "He thought it a great idea, and I guess we are back on."

Sprague said she was never opposed to a debate, but was concerned about getting information to voters, and especially encouraging undecided voters to attend the debate.

"Open lines of communication and information sharing was all we needed from the beginning to get a debate scheduled," said Sprague.

Incumbent Julie Garcia, who has won the endorsement of Essex County Democrats, is still planning to run against Sprague in the Republican primary. She said she is delighted to hear there will be a debate.

"The timing is perfect as the debate is scheduled before the Sept. 15 primary election," Garcia said. "As the Republican incumbent, and in the interest of fairness, I want my opponent to have the opportunity to meet with the voters of our county before the primary."

A panel comprised of journalists from local news media agencies - including Denton Publications - will present questions to the candidates, some of which will be questions submitted by the public.

Both candidates said they are ready to present their major points in public.

"We have implemented many changes in the DA's Office over the last few years," said Garcia. "I am looking forward to discussing our achievements at the debate."

"I am an open and up-front candidate that welcomes this debate with much enthusiasm and look forward to speaking to all of the voters of Essex County," said Sprague. "I would love for them to hear my views as the endorsed Republican candidate and compare them to the views of my Democratic opponent."

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