Backing Out

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

Earlier Thursday, Jim Tipple called Wisconsin Public Radio to say he would not be participating in a debate because he would not be allowed to see the questions ahead of time, a decision that those involved say amounts to political suicide.

In early February, four of the then five candidates for the Wausau mayoral office met in a debate two weeks before the primary.

Jim Tipple was one of them, but now tipple says he will not be at a forum one week before the mayoral election and UW Marathon County Dean Jim Veninga says it's the voters who are hurt by his decision.

"I was disappointed, because this was such a magnificent opportunity for the citizens of Wausau to learn more about the candidates," said Veninga.

Newschannel Seven's calls to Tipple's home were not returned Thursday.

Mayor Linda Lawrence, Tipple's Opponent, says she was happy to participate in the forum's unscripted format.

"I think off-the-cuff tells you what's inside the candidate's brain," said Lawrence, "and their heart in terms of their knowledge and their attitude."

Lawrence says tipple's backing out is a sign of inexperience and she hopes that voters will feel the same way.

Veninga says he would still like to have the forum and his hoping that tipple changes his mind.

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