Mackenzie, Slattery Back out of CEPTA Debate
Republican Primary candidate Arlene Dabrow was the only candidate to show up at Tuesday night's CEPTA event.
Arlene Dabrow was stood up by two men last night in front of a crowd of approximately 40 people.
Dabrow is running in the Republican primary for the 134th District House Seat against Ryan Mackenzie of South Whitehall. She was expecting to meet up with Mackenzie during a debate sponsored by the Concerned East Penn Taxpayers Association (CEPTA) scheduled for last night.
Mackenzie, who had originally “RSVP'd” yes for the debate, was a “no show” at the last minute, citing a scheduling conflict as his excuse.
Mackenzie is also running for the open 134th House Seat in a special election scheduled during the April 24 primary. Mackenzie’s opponent in that race is Democrat Patrick Slattery of Lower Macungie Township.
Slattery, too, was expected at last night’s CEPTA debate. But he announced late Tuesday afternoon in a prepared statement that he would not be participating in the debate as a result of a lawsuit filed in Lehigh County Court on Monday.
So instead of a debate, Dabrow was faced with a candidate forum at Emmaus Fire Co. No. 1 in which she had center stage for more than an hour. During that time, she detailed her political career, which she said dates back to 1994. It was in that year that Dabrow took it upon herself to learn more about the American political system through the League of Women Voters.
“I am either too conservative or too liberal or too moderate or one of those,” Dabrow said, in describing how different people have reacted to her political views through the years. “The major issue I see in this election is an out-of-control government, out-of-control spending.
“I have been ringing the bell about our out-of-control spending since the 60s. Nobody has been listening to me on that fiscal responsibility issue. I have a feeling this group does agree with me on that,” she said.
After Dabrow’s presentation, Rob Hamill, who was originally on the Republican primary ballot for the 134th District, praised Dabrow for coming to last night’s event.
“She’s the only one who had the guts to show up and say what she had to say without being controlled by the handlers of the party,” Hamill said. “This is an important election, and there’s been no discussion, no debate.
“What kind of an election is this? They are here to represent the people and the people don’t know what they are representing,” he said.
Dabrow invoked the name of former 134th District Rep. Doug Reichley often during her talk, which ended with a brief audience Q&A session. She summed up her reasons for being in the race: “To be able to follow in Doug Reichley’s footsteps, he’s the best representative in my entire lifetime,” she said.