Brown says her appearance at Republican debate was never certain

    Last night, Philadelphia’s Republican candidates got a chance to debate the big issues. Some did. Two didn’t.

    Philadelphians for Ethical Leadership and the Loyal Opposition hosted the debate, with Larry Mendte moderating. Council candidate Frank Rizzo left early, and mayoral candidate Karen Brown never showed.

    Mendte says Loyal Opposition leader Kevin Kelly called Brown a coward for not showing, but Brown says Kelly was aware she probably wouldn’t be there.

    “I said I would make every effort,” Brown told NewsWorks of her conversation with Kelly. There were five ward meetings last night, Brown says, and those are her “highest priority because they’ll sell me on the streets.”

    Brown said she made Kelly aware she’d be at the debate if her schedule allowed, and suggested these debates should be held during the day.

    NewsWorks partner Philadelphia Weekly has more comments from Kelly, who called Brown and her staff disrespectul for the approach.

    You can read all about Mendte’s disappointment in his Philadelphia magazine blog post. He says Rizzo left before all the candidates had a chance to give their one-minute introductions.

    You can catch highlights from the debate from CityPaper’s Holly Otterbein. All the hot topics were covered, but even mayoral candidate admitted the Republicans’ bid for mayor is a longshot.

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