As the organizer for CBES Candidate Forums, I felt compelled to respond to your story from Sept. 28, on the cancellation of the 2023 CBES Candidate Forums. Let me say how extremely disappointed I was at this turn of events, and how hard we tried to keep these events going, to give voters a fair and unbiased opportunity to hear from the candidates. CBES strenuously disagrees with any characterization of the local sorority chapters as “politically active groups,” as Del. Bloxom referred to them. I specifically wanted to respond to Del. Bloxom’s version of events, in which he stated that “The co-sponsoring groups were not mentioned in the original invitation, either by oversight or by design.” I’m truly perplexed how Del. Bloxom would feel this way. Although it is true that the very first invitation did not mention the sororities, he was aware of the sororities’ involvement for a month before he decided to withdraw, three days before the event. In addition, he never expressed any problem with the same sororities’ involvement for the 2021 Candidate Forum, which was planned as an in-person event before we had to switch to a special insert in our monthly newsletter due to the pandemic.
I appreciate the opportunity to provide this additional information.
Board Member, Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore