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NIAGARA FALLS – Four civic groups have scheduled a candidates’ forum Tuesday for the contenders in the Republican primary for 62nd District state senator, but one of the candidates, North Tonawanda Mayor Robert G. Ortt, won’t be there.

The matchup between Ortt and Holley homemaker Gia M. Arnold was scheduled more than a month ago for 6 p.m. Sept. 2 in the Niagara Falls Public Library. However, when Arnold blew the whistle on herself Aug. 13 for having an extramarital affair and announced she was halting active campaigning, the sponsors canceled the forum.

But Friday, Arnold jumped back into the race, and the sponsors – Niagara Falls Block Club Council, Niagara Falls chapter of the NAACP and the Rotary and Kiwanis clubs – announced they were holding the event after all. Wednesday, in response to emails from The Buffalo News, Arnold said she would be there, but Ortt said he would not.

“When the campaign was informed the event was canceled, we scheduled other events for the evening. We do not plan to cancel those events, so Rob will not be able to attend the forum on the 2nd,” the email from the Ortt campaign said.