Mayoral forum throwdown

The Boston Herald wrote Wednesday that “candidates are lining up to take part in a mayoral forum sponsored by Suffolk University, the Herald, and New England Cable News on Monday Sept. 9.’’

Here’s the thing, not all of mayoral candidates are lining up. One, state Representative Martin J. Walsh, in fact, has stated explicitly that he will not be in attendance.

And why not? Because the to-be-televised, 90-minute “wide-ranging discussion’’ at Suffolk’s Modern Theater conflicts with another forum that was scheduled months ago.

MASSCreative’s Create the Vote Boston Mayoral Candidate Forum on Arts, Culture, and Creativity is scheduled for Sept. 9, too. That event, at the Paramount Theatre, starts at 6 p.m. The university/media forum begins at 8 p.m. “to accommodate a scheduling conflict by some candidate,’’ the Herald wrote.


MASSCreative said in a statement that seven of the 12 candidates and more than 325 people have already confirmed attendance for the forum it has had been in the works for months.

“We were surprised and disappointed to learn of the decision by the Boston Herald, Suffolk University and NECN to hold an event directly conflicting with our debate,’’ Matt Wilson, head of the arts advocacy group, said in a statement.

And so the question becomes: Which forum will the candidates – and the public – attend?

Walsh made it clear on his campaign website where he’ll be — front and center at the Paramount Theatre “discussing the importance of arts and culture in our community.’’

The online statement says: “We honor our commitments. We accepted an invitation to MassCreative’s September 9 forum months ago, and we will be there.’’

So there’s that.

Oh, that and fear of crossing forum’s moderator, Joyce Kulhawik, president of the Boston Theater Critics Association. As Walsh said on Twitter: “I’ve been in Boston long enough to know I DON’T want a bad review from @JoyceKulhawick.’’


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