May 26, 2016

Partly sunny

Commissioner candidates agree to debate on website

Lorain County Commissioner Tom Williams, left, and state Rep. Matt Lundy

Lorain County Commissioner Tom Williams, left, and state Rep. Matt Lundy

ELYRIA — The Chronicle-Telegram will host a debate between Lorain County Commissioner Tom Williams and his challenger, state Rep. Matt Lundy, D-Elyria.

The debate, which is scheduled to take place Oct. 1, will be made available on The Chronicle’s website.

“We want readers to see the candidates matched up against each other and exploring how they would tackle the county’s problems,” Chronicle Editor Andy Young said.

Both Williams and Lundy had asked The Chronicle to be involved in a debate. The two men have sparred publicly and privately over what format the debates between them would take.

Williams, a Republican seeking his second term, has challenged Lundy to have debates moderated by local veterans and unions with tight restrictions on what they could say about each other. Lundy has dismissed that idea.

Lundy, who is term-limited from seeking another term in Columbus, announced last week that he would face off against Williams at a series of candidate nights and debates on two local radio stations, including WEOL-930 AM, which is owned by the same parent company as The Chronicle.

Williams also had complained that Lundy had refused to respond to his Facebook messages and requests to have a phone conversation. Lundy had said he wanted to sit down and have a face-to-face meeting with Williams.

But the two men said they had a phone conversation earlier this week about the debates that was brief and civil.

Lundy said Wednesday he is pleased The Chronicle will host a debate.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

Williams said he thinks the newspaper-sponsored debate will give voters a chance to see the differences between he and Lundy.

“I think the more we can talk and the more people can learn about the candidates, the better off we are,” Williams said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.

About Brad Dicken

Brad Dicken is the senior writer for the Chronicle-Telegram. He covers courts and county government, and has been with the Chronicle since 2001. He can be reached at 329-7147 or Follow him on Twitter.