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Challenger calls out incumbent Sutter County supervisor
This story has been corrected from an earlier version that ran in the newspaper.
Sutter County supervisorial candidate Preet Didbal is calling out incumbent Jim Whiteaker, asking him to debate her at a forum next week in Yuba City.
Didbal, a Yuba City planning commissioner, sent Whiteaker a letter April 21 requesting he show up to a candidate forum next Wednesday she's already planning to attend, with the prospect of debating him.
Whiteaker said because of a previously scheduled engagement, though, he won't be able to attend. But he said in his response letter he would still like to eventually have such a debate or forum with Didbal.
"I think the residents of District 4 deserve to know how she wants to be a supervisor when she's never attended a meeting, or how she would work in Sacramento and make committee meetings," said Whiteaker, a Yuba City High School teacher.
"I just feel I need adequate time to prepare for such an event, more than a week at least."
Told of Whiteaker's response, Didbal said, "What commitment would be more important than talking directly to voters?"
She also pointed out she did all the legwork, paid for the venue and didn't expect Whiteaker to chip in.
The debate Didbal proposed would allow both opening and closing remarks, along with questions from one candidate to the other and from the audience.
Whiteaker said before agreeing to a debate, he would also want to have some say on the format and criteria.
"I'd want it put on by an unbiased organization," he said, explaining at a forum earlier this year presented by the Sutter County Taxpayers Association, he felt he subjected himself to personal attacks from some.
Didbal pointed out Whiteaker said earlier this year that he would happily debate her.
The forum proposed by Didbal would be from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. on Wednesday at Boyd Hall, 1895 Lassen Blvd., Yuba City.