The purpose of candidates’ forums is to allow the voting public to ask questions of the candidates, listen to their responses and then make an educated decision for whom to vote. When a candidate of a major party refuses to appear, the public is the loser.

A number of non-partisan organizations have scheduled a debate in the 5th congressional district between the Democratic candidate, Roy Cho, and the Republican candidate, Scott Garrett. The debate is set for October 20. Mr. Cho, the Democrat, plans to attend. Mr. Garrett, the Republican, has declined.

We ask Mr. Garrett to reconsider. We, the voters, deserve to hear his views before pressing the lever on November 4.