September 26, 2023
Annapolis, US 61 F

Pantelides and Buckley square off at Sunday’s debate

Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides and local businessman Gavin Buckley met face to face for their first debate before the election on November 7th in front of a crowd of 300 at Rams Head Onstage.

The sold-out debate was held at Rams Head Onstage with Dr. Dan Nataf from AACC’s Center for the Study of Local Issues as moderator. The debate was sponsored by Eye On Annapolis and The Maryland Crabs Podcast.

The candidates each had an opening statement followed by about an hour of questions moderated by Dr. Nataf. Topics included city finances, crime, public housing, disparity of the different wards throughout the city, as well as a few surprises. While the topics should not have been too surprising for the candidates, some of the angles seemed to catch them off-guard. The candidates had the opportunity to rebut his opponent’s answer; and Dr. Nataf reserved the right to inject a qualifying question if needed.

Gavin Buckley - Democrat for Mayor

After a short break, the candidates faced a bevy of questions submitted in advance by our readers, by those watching the debate live on Facebook, and of course the audience in person.  This potion was a straight question and answer period with topics ranging from treatment of public housing residents and the growth of gangs, to the seriousness of Buckley’s desire to put a ferris wheel at City Dock.

To wrap it up, we inspected their phones for their most played artist–because music is important. So what were they?

  • Buckley — The Strokes
  • Pantelides — Sweet Leda

In the end, it was difficult to determine a winner. We spoke with many after the debate and some felt that the Mayor was dominant; yet others felt Buckley had the upper hand. Me? I think, that like the election, it was just too close to call!

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