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Embry challenges Pugh to attend WYPR mayoral debate

Embry challenges Pugh to attend WYPR mayoral debate
Attorney Elizabeth Embry, 38, announced her candidacy for mayor this morning in front of supporters at her alma mater, City College. Embry is chief of the criminal division for the Maryland Office of the Attorney General, and was formerly a deputy in the Baltimore City State's Attorney office under Gregg Bernstein. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Mayoral candidate Elizabeth Embry on Friday challenged State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, who led the last mayoral poll, to join in a candidates' debate on WYPR-FM next week.

Pugh cancelled on the station last week when it held its first mayoral debate during its "Maryland Morning" program, Embry said. Former Mayor Sheila Dixon, businessman David L. Warnock, and City Councilman Nick J. Mosby debated without her.

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On April 13, the station is hosting a second mayoral debate that includes Embry, a lawyer, and City Councilman Carl Stokes. Embry said Pugh is declining to attend that debate.

"Refusing to face the voters and failing to answer questions for the listeners of WYPR deprives voters of important information they need before voting in the mayoral election," Embry said.

Embry has targeted Pugh for criticism for soliciting contributions from lobbyists working on bills before her committee during the current session of the General Assembly. Pugh has defended the contributions as legal.

Pugh campaign spokesman Anthony McCarthy said the senator has a packed schedule and simply can't attend every debate. She has participated in more than 60 mayoral forums during her run for mayor, he said.

lbroadwater@baltsun.com

Twitter.com/lukebroadwater

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