**UPDATE AT BOTTOM**
It's 72 hours and counting.
That's how long it has been since CityBeat e-mailed Mike Wilson, a Republican candidate and Cincinnati Tea Party leader, to learn why he skipped a planned appearance at a candidates' forum Wednesday night in Forest Park. So far, we've received no reply.—-
CityBeat wrote Wilson and his campaign manager, Justin Binik-Thomas, to give them an opportunity to respond to a press release issued Thursday by the Hamilton County Democratic Party about Wilson's absence. The release, under the headline of “The Tea Party's Missing Messiah,” speculated that Wilson skipped the appearance at Waycross Community Media to avoid another face-to-face appearance with his opponent, State Rep. Connie Pillich (D-Montgomery).
The press release stated that Wilson was embarrassed by his performance against Pillich a few days earlier on Newsmakers, the Sunday morning political chat show on WKRC-TV (Channel 12), hosted by Dan Hurley.
“The Tea Party Messiah running against Connie Pillich in the 28th House District failed to show up!,” the release stated. “Maybe that's because his appearance on Channel 12's Newsmakers last Sunday morning was less than successful.”
Wilson has never been one to shy away from publicity in the past, and has typically been responsive to CityBeat's requests for information. We still hope to hear back from him.
(**UPDATE: Wilson's campaign contacted CityBeat to inform us that his new campaign manager is Maggi Cook, who replaces Binik-Thomas. Campaign spokesman David Watkins said Wilson never committed to appear at the Waycross forum, but thanked the local Democratic Party for the publicity.
"Mike had a previously scheduled event that night and never committed to attend the Waycross forum. He is simply not able to be in two places at one time," Watkins said. "However, Mike is looking forward to debating Rep. Pillich on Oct. 20 at Princeton High School as the campaigns agreed."
A Waycross spokesperson said every political candidate running for any office that serves the areas of Forest Park, Greenhills and Springfield Township received personal, registered letters inviting them to the scheduled debate. Wilson did receive his letter, because Waycross has the signed copy of his receipt. "At that point, he was informed of the debate and it was his choice not to appear," the spokesperson said.)