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League of Women Voters urges AG to clarify rule on candidate forums

Stickers waited for voters on Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020, at the Clark Government Center voting station in Waltham.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

As a primary sponsor of candidate forums in local and state elections, the League of Women Voters believes strongly that candidates must be able to comment on issues central to their races. We therefore urge the state attorney general to clarify immediately that candidates, including incumbents, are within their rights to discuss current and pending issues in public forums (“Waltham legal opinion chills political debate,” Editorial, Nov. 4).

The legal opinion issued by the Waltham city solicitor, as cited in your editorial, that it would be “ ‘potentially problematic’ for elected city officials to participate in discussions at political forums that relate to issues currently before the City Council or its committees” deprives voters of opportunities to learn where candidates stand on important issues before they vote.


The league strongly disagrees with this legal opinion and asks Attorney General Andrea Campbell to issue a definitive ruling allowing candidates to discuss all relevant issues before the 2024 election season begins.

Elizabeth Foster-Nolan

Marie Gauthier


League of Women Voters of Massachusetts