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WTOK mayoral debate canceled for tonight

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
April 24, 2001
A mayoral debate sponsored by local television station WTOK tonight has been canceled after Republican challenger Wally Hudnall unexpectedly backed out of the event.
Hudnall says he pulled out of the event because he felt "entrapped" by the television station. Hudnall and incumbent Mayor John Robert Smith will face off May 2 in the Republican primary.
Hudnall, who recently sold his interests in two local grocery stores, said he informed the station's management he was withdrawing when he learned of the format.
John Johnson, general manager for WTOK, could not be reached for comment Tuesday morning.
Smith said he is disappointed in Hudnall's decision.
Hudnall said he is not opposed to debating Smith and still intends to participate in a debate sponsored by the Viscounts Civic and Social Club Thursday night. The two already faced off in an NAACP-sponsored debate last week.
The Viscounts debate will begin at 7 p.m. in the Council of Organizations building at 814 45th Ave.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.