Armstrong calls out Mako for failure to debate
Phillips Armstrong, candidate for state representative in the 183rd Legislative District released the following information on Sept. 29 regarding Zach Mako, also a candidate for the seat in the 183rd Legislative District.
Armstrong says he has made himself available to debate Mako in three public forums since the primary.
These include a public forum organized by the Chamber of Commerce in Whitehall scheduled for Oct. 5 and canceled by Mako, a candidate forum arranged by PBS 39 the week of Sept. 13.
According to Armstrong, Mako has also refused to reschedule the forum which is open to all Lehigh Valley candidates for the state legislature and he has yet to respond to the Northampton and Lehigh County League of Women Voters invitation.
Armstrong says he has reached out to the Northampton County League of Women Voters president and made his availability clear for anytime until Nov. 8.
“The public deserves the chance to make an educated decision about who will best represent them in Harrisburg for the next two years,” Armstrong said. “They have the right to examine candidate qualifications and the candidates’ abilities to find solutions to the problems faced by the people of the district.”
Armstrong says he strongly believes in public accountability and transparency, and finds it disrespectful and contemptuous of the voters to refuse to debate on the issues and trusts the voters to make the best decision in choosing their next state representative.
Armstrong, president of the Whitehall Township Board of Commissioners, is a retired social studies teacher of 40 years at Whitehall-Coplay High School, and a hall of fame coach.
According to the candidate, he was unanimously appointed to the board in 2014, re-elected in 2015 as the top vote-getter and then received the unanimous bipartisan vote to become the president of board.
Mako emailed The Press with a comment on Oct. 3.
“I was unable to attend the PBS forum because I was on orders with the Army National Guard,” Mako stated via email. “My campaign has been in contact with the League of Women Voters and recently accepted their invitation to a debate.
“While some of the specifics have not been finalized (like time and location) I’m sure they will make an announcement when these details have been finalized.
“I am personally offended my opponent would suggest I am disrespecting voters.
“Over the past several months I have visited communities across the district, knocking on thousands of voter’s doors and personally talking to them about the issues they care about, answering any questions they may have.
“I believe it is important to have a state representative who is easily accessible and willing to listen.”
The 183rd District includes Slatington, Northampton, and North Catasauqua boroughs, Washington, Whitehall, Lehigh and Allen townships as well as parts of South Whitehall and Moore townships.