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Candidates Spar Over Gordon Mailing During BCAT Debate

Walter Zenkin challenged Ken Gordon on a mailing the Democrat sent out to Burlington residents during the candidates' Oct. 17 debate.


At the end of a debate Wednesday between the two candidates for the 21st Middlesex District State Representative seat, Walter Zenkin, R-Burlington, and Kenneth Gordon, D-Bedford, were given the chance to pose one question to their opponent. 

Zenkin, who posed his question second, asked Gordon how voters can be sure that the Democrat won't "say something or do something just for a vote?"

Gordon said his career as a lawyer has been built on his integrity, and that it regularly put him in situations that tested his character.

"Each and every time I've made the right decision for me, which is there's a line I would never cross, there are lines I would never cross and I will do things my way, which is with integrity," Gordon said.

Following Gordon's response, the candidates prepared to make their closing statements, with Zenkin making his first. As he prepared to do so, he pulled out a letter Gordon's campaign had mailed to Burlington residents.

"I received a not-so-nice mailing from a Ken Gordon," Zenkin said. 

The Republican candidate proceeded to read from the letter:

"If we do not elect a Democrat to this seat, my opponent is a Republican selectman from Burlington aligned with the tea party. His platform is to shrink government and to lower the taxes for privatized services. If he is elected, Bedford will lose this important appropriation. My opponent has said he will largely self fund his campaign, I can't match his spending without your assistance."

"Where did you get that information? My concern is this, if you can't trust the information you're putting out how can we trust you?" Zenkin asked his opponent.

Gordon was then given the opportunity to make his closing statement, in which he challenged his opponent.

"I'm interested to know why Mr. Zenkin didn't just ask that to me when he had the opportunity to ask me a question," Gordon said.

Gordon said he felt Zenkin tried to set him up by asking a general question, and then using the letter in his closing statement. 

"He chose to set me up, by asking a general question to which of course anyone would say I've been reliable my whole career, and then he had a sort of a 'gotcha' letter which he then read," Zenkin said. 

The two shared a brief exchange in which Gordon asked Zenkin to see the letter, with Zenkin refusing to hand it over.

Gordon said he stands by the statements made in the letter.

"I've looked at Mr. Zenkin's website," Gordon said. "Mr. Zenkin's website doesn't talk about supporting the community. It talks about cutting spending. It talks about privatizing when necessary, and these are all items that I do see on tea party-type websites."

Watch the complete debate on Burlington Cable Access by clicking here.


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