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Green’s Camejo throws off governor’s debate

By Matthew Artz
Monday October 07, 2002

Governor Gray Davis may pull out of a televised gubernatorial debate scheduled for tonight if Green Party candidate Peter Camejo is permitted to be a spectator, Camejo told supporters at a rally in Richmond Sunday. 

The debate is scheduled to include Davis and his Republican opponent Bill Simon, but according to Camejo, Davis is threatening not to attend if Simon doesn’t take the green candidate off the guest list. 

Camejo said he is feared by Davis because of comments he could make to the press, but has been encouraged to participate in the debate by Simon who hopes the green candidate will siphon votes from the governor. 

Camejo’s presence at the debate in Los Angeles, sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, has been an ongoing issue. 

According to Camejo, he was initially barred from the debate, so he asked Simon to put him on the guest list. The Times balked at the inclusion, but Simon threatened to pull out if Camejo wasn’t invited. 

Camejo said Davis refused to attend the first gubernatorial debate Sept. 17 because of the green candidate’s participation. In that debate, sponsored by New California Media and other organizations, Camejo and Simon were left to debate each other.  

Representatives from the Davis and Simon campaigns could not be reached for comment.