AUDIO: Dracut Challengers Make Their Case At GLLWV Candidates Night
May 02, 2018 10:01PM ● Published by Bill Gilman
Unfortunately, as well attended as the event was by interested voters, it was not nearly so well attended by candidates running for office.
There are three contested races on the ballot for the May 7 Dracut Municipal Election. Only one candidate for each of the races chose to participate.
With 2 seats up for grabs on the Dracut School Committee, challenger Susan Koufogazos was the only participant. Incumbents Dan O'Connell and Joe Wilkie chose not to participate.
With one seat up for grabs on the Board of Selectmen, challenger Phil Thibault was on-hand to state his case to voters. However, incumbent Joe DiRocco and challenger John Joyce chose not to participate.
With one seat available on the Dracut Housing Authority, challenger Fred Spicer took part in the event but incumbent George Nangell chose not to participate.
Even more unfortunate, the GLLWV invoked a state League of Women Voters rule, forbidding live-streaming or videotaping candidate speeches and interaction with voters at LWV Candidate Night events. According to a GLLWV spokesperson, live-streaming and videotaping are only allowed if the event is an actual debate with at least two candidates per race.
(Editor's Note: It is our feeling that enforcement of this rule violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and may very well be in violation of state law and we will be seeking redress.)
While we were unable to livestream the event, as we had planned, we did make audio recordings of the speeches made by each candidate.
Those speeches can be heard, in the entirety, below.
Dracut School Committee Candidate Susan Koufogazos
Dracut Housing Authority Candidate Fred Spicer
Dracut Board of Selectmen Candidate Phil Thibault