Rep. Ed Royce, R-Fullerton, dropped out of Monday night’s forum on the Affordable Healthcare Act citing an unexpected conflict, according to organizers.
His Democratic opponent in the race for the 39th Congressional District seat, Hacienda Heights school board member Jay Chen, said Royce dropped out “within hours of learning that I would attend.” He accused the Republican of ducking him in what could be seen as a debate.
But Royce, through an aide, said Chen “muscled his way into the event,” and thereby tried to make it more of a debate. “By inviting a candidate, that turns it into a political and partisan event,” said Dave Gilliard, a Royce campaign aide.
Royce could not spend the time necessary to engage with Chen because he has other commitments, Gilliard said. He was prepared to give a “short update” on the healthcare law, that’s all.
The long-term congressman had accepted an invitation to speak on the issue as a guest of the Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council earlier this month.
Read more in Steve Scauzillo’s story CANCEL.