BEMIDJI — Minnesota Senate District 5 candidate Rita Albrecht expressed disappointment at the decision by Senator Justin Eichorn, along with other GOP district candidates, not to participate in Bemidji’s League of Women Voters Forum last Thursday.

“These forums are long-standing traditions in Minnesota politics and offer the most accessible way for constituents to learn about the candidates, their records and their values,” said Albrecht. “It is unacceptable that any candidate would back out of a forum this close to election day and deny voters a chance to be better informed.”

League organizers notified Albrecht over the weekend that GOP candidates had submitted a letter declining the League’s invitation. The letter was signed by Eichorn, along with Senator Paul Utke, and House District 5a candidate Matt Bliss.

“I’m just very disappointed,” said Albrecht. “Unlike my opponent, I look forward to hearing from our community and answering their questions. I believe deeply in public discourse. That means that I show up, have tough conversations, and work hard to find common ground. I don’t run off when it’s time to be accountable to voters.”

The League of Women Voters has been a source of non-partisan electoral information and advocacy since its inception in 1919 with the ratification of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote.

The League’s mission is in lockstep with the tenets of a strong democracy, fostering an informed electorate and advocating for democratic reforms that ensure every citizen can confidently cast their votes each election day. The League has a long history of sponsoring and hosting political debates and forums at the local and national level, including presidential debates in 1980, 1984 and 1988.

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