In the race for the state House of Representatives District 53, which covers the majority of the city of Ann Arbor, and parts of Scio and Pittsfield townships, Republican Chase Ingersoll is running against Democrat Jeff Irwin.
At the Sept. 28 League of Women Voters forum, however, Ingersoll was the only candidate to appear, and after waiting 10 minutes past the scheduled start time, organizers decided to carry on without Irwin.
“We hope nothing untoward has happened,” said Sue Smith, League president. She noted that in Irwin’s absence, they’d be following the “empty chair” format, meaning that the timing for each question would be the same, and the forum would simply be half as long. It lasted 15 minutes.
Questions were selected by a committee from a pool of questions submitted by community members. The forum, held at the studios of Community Television Network, was moderated by Judy Mich. The event was recorded and is available online through CTN’s video-on-demand service.
Irwin later emailed The Chronicle saying he had apologized to the League – he had thought the forum was on the following night. Irwin’s views on some statewide issues can be found in a Chronicle report of a June 2010 candidate forum during the Democratic primary between Irwin and Ned Staebler.