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Representative Buerkle wants candidate town hall meetings

Representative Ann Marie Buerkle has challenged her two competitors to participate in a series of four joint town hall meetings before the November 6 election.

The Syracuse-area congresswoman is locked in a tight re-election race with Democrat and former Congressman Dan Maffei and Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum.

Maffei called Buerkle's proposal a "political scheme." The back-and-forth comes in the middle of negotiations for media-sponsored debates. Both Buerkle and Maffei say they've agreed to debates but none have been publicly announced yet.

In the latest Siena College poll, Buerkle and Maffei each received support from 43 percent of those polled and Rozum got seven percent.

In an interview with WRVO News last week, Buerkle said she supports Rozum's participation in any debates or candidate forums.

"We think it's imperative that the third party candidate be involved and we've made that very clear," Buerkle said. "She was able to get on the ballot; she has every right to participate in the debates and we look forward to that."

Today's proposal by Buerkle is for voters to be able to ask the candidates questions in town hall meetings in all four counties in the 24th congressional district.