MCLENNAN CO., Texas (Fox 44) — The Free Public Debates gave House District 56 and District 13 voters an opportunity to hear democratic candidates discuss the issues of importance to them in the Nov. 8 election.

“Today was basically to get the table top issues out there to the public, where we could hear from the public, take questions from the public and by the moderator,” Democratic Candidate Cedric Davis said.

The two present democratic candidates answered to social concerns posed by the moderator, David Schleicher, ranging from gun rights….

“What is your position on the right to bear arms,” the Moderator asked.

“I think open carry is a problem,” Davis answered.

To questions about climate change.

“It’s so hot it dried up the lake…So climate change is real,” Davis said.

Neither of the democratic candidates were joined by their opponent. Instead, the candidates answered questions directly from the Moderator.

“I relate the same information that I need to get to the public, but I still feel cheated a little bit because I didn’t get a true response from her,” Davis said in response when asked how he felt about the debate being only him and candidate Erin Shank.

Shank is running for House District 56 in the Texas house of representatives. This district includes most of McLennan county minus East Waco.

She is running against State Representative Doc Anderson, who she says also chose not to attend. Shank says she is surprised that he did not make it to the debate.

“I think it is so important for candidates to show up before the voters and express them their views and their opinions,” she told Fox 44 News. “There’s some important things going on in Texas. He was invited by mail, by email and by several messages left at his office, and he returned. None of those calls.”

Fox 44 News reached out to Anderson to find out why he nor candidate Angelia Orr attended.

This is what he said:

“Candidate Angelia Orr and I were notified of the debate but neither of us responded to the invitation as we did not believe the debate would be a bi-partisan event.”

We reached back out to the McLennan County Democratic Party and it was confirmed that neither candidate responded to any invitation but Shank said she and Davis were prepared to have a debate without Anderson or Orr.

“We didn’t know if he was showing up or not, so we had to prepare as if he was coming,” she said. “And if he wasn’t and he did not show. So I debated an empty chair,” Shank said.

With so much uncertainty in the world right now, voting makes you certain of where you stand.