Cliff Stearns, No-show
Beverly Thomas, Women for Wise Growth
October 2008

Women For Wise Growth, an Alachua County PAC since 1998, has conducted a number of successful educational and political forums. WWG decided to sponsor a forum between incumbent Cliff Stearns (R) and challenger Tim Cunha (D).

After a great deal of discussion, including the fact that no one in the organization remembered Cliff Stearns participating, at least in the last ten years in Alachua County in a political forum, WWG decided to seek the co-sponsorship of other local groups to make the invitation more enticing. WWG was able to secure the co-sponsorship of the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce and The league of Women Voters. WWG contacted both candidates with a list of possible forum dates.

Tim Cunha responded with his preferences, and WWG waited to hear from Congressman Stearns. Finally Stearns responded saying that he did not want to participate in a forum in Gainesville no matter the time, the sponsors, or how much media would be involved. Ultimately he said that he would send a representative of his campaign, an aide from his Gainesville office, Mary Johnson Miller.

Let me remind voters. This is an election of the Sixth Congressional District of the state of Florida. There are 111,783 registered voters in this district in the western part of Alachua County. Party affiliations are Democrats (53,619), Republicans (34,994) and Independents/NPA/Green/Libertarian/Others (23,170). Cliff Stearns did not have time for any of you.

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