Just hours after Representative Lauren Carson (D.- District 75, Newport) said that she had learned that her opponent, Mike Smith, had turned down the opportunity to debate her, Smith has come out explaining he’s ready to debate at any time.

Dear Voters of Newport,

I have recently been accused by my opponent of not being willing to participate in the debate being orga-
nized by the Newport County League of Women Voters.

Let me assure you nothing could be further from the truth. I am actually quite excited about the prospectof being able to debate my opponent on the issues and, even more important, on her dismal voting record.

When originally invited by the NCLWV to participate I responded immediately but was informed that they didn’t get my response. However, all has been rectified this morning as I was in direct contact with them and have been told, thankfully, that the debate is on.

I offer my apologies for any confusion I may have caused regarding my willingness to debate. But I can assure all the voters of District 75 that I am ready, willing and able to publicly debate my opponent. I like you am very interested to hear why she has voted for tolls, against car tax relief almost 100% of the time with the Speaker, to name just a few of the anti-tax payer pro special interest votes she has cast.

In closing, I would like to suggest that in the future, my opponent, Lauren Carson, takes the time to do her homework and to have her facts straight before going public with a false accusation. The public has a right to expect as much from someone who wants the honor of representing them.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.