By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s Republican challenger, Nick Di iorio, held a unique press conference last Friday to criticize the record and what he called inaction of the incumbent.
Playing off of the Congresswoman’s attempt this past summer to bring a panda to a New York City zoo, Di iorio announced that he got the job done for her.
“I’ve adopted my own panda,” he said, introducing a man wearing a panda suit as Kevin and pointing to the excited two-legged creature parading in front of a group of Di iorio supporters. “And now we can get that off the table and focus on the real issues.”
Kevin, presumably a Di iorio supporter, enthusiastically hugged the Congressional hopeful and trotted out a scroll displaying the number of bills that Representative Maloney has been unable to pass.
Di iorio said at the press conference that Maloney had been avoiding his request for a debate and emphasized that although she had agreed to appear opposite Di iorio at the 17th Precinct Community Council’s Candidate Night this past Tuesday, he emphasized that this was not a formal debate.
Maloney was ultimately unable to attend the Candidate Night event because President Obama had asked the Congresswoman to lead a U.S. delegation to mark the opening of the new exhibit of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, but she did agree to a “no notes” debate with Di iorio, scheduled for this Thursday.
“Representative Maloney took a month and a half to agree to debate. I am glad that we finally will have one debate,” Di iorio said. “It is unfortunate that it took so much pressure to debate, especially a 22-year incumbent. However, I am looking forward to debating her on Thursday.”