David Holden and Cindy Banyai, both contending to be the Democratic Party nominee for southwest Florida’s Congressional District 19, will face off in debates this month including one co-sponsored by the Collier County Democratic Party.
The winner of the Democratic primary election on August 18 will face one of a handful of Republican opponents also vying to fill the seat currently held by retiring U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney in the November general election.
All of the debates between the Democratic contenders will be staged virtually online.
The Blue Gator Initiative and the Collier Democrats will host a “Head-to-Head Candidate Forum” on Thursday, May 28 beginning at 6 p.m. on the Go To Meeting online platform.
Questions for the candidates will be solicited in advance.
You can sign up for this debate by click on this link:
Another candidate forum will be sponsored by The Florida Citizens Alliance on May 19 from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Details here.
There will also be a half-hour ZOOM video conference debate conducted by a WINK television reporter on May 18 from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
WINK’s decision to host this truncated debate followed controversy about a one-sided program they hosted earlier. As reported by David Silverberg of The Paradise Progressive:
“The debate was scheduled after WINK held an online debate with Republican 19th District congressional candidates on April 27 without inviting Democrats. A portion of the Republican debate was broadcast on the nightly newscast and the full debate posted on the WINK News application.
“ ‘It’s very encouraging that WINK News has decided to host a Democratic candidate forum,’ candidate Cindy Banyai told The Paradise Progressive.
“ ‘This is an important position even though this is a Republican area,” said Democratic candidate David Holden. ‘We’re going to have a vigorous discussion by all sides.’ ”