Citing a family emergency, Assemblyman Bill Emmerson (R AD 63 Redlands) cancelled his Idyllwild debate appearance at 2:42 p.m. on the day of the debate, Friday June 4.
Sponsoring organizations the Pine Cove Property Owners Association and the Idyllwild Town Crier notified Blake and Monica of Emmerson's last minute cancellation.
The debate, one of the only ones Emmerson had accepted during the campaign, was scheduled for 6 p.m. and proceeded with the other two candidates, Democrat Justin Blake and American Independent Matt Monica.
Shortly after receiving notification from Emmerson's staff, the Town Crier began fielding calls from off Hill media seeking to verify Emmerson's cancellation.
In anticipation of a large turnout including off Hill media, the Town Crier had moved the debate into the Fire Station Bay.
Attendees at the debate expressed upset and disbelief at Emmerson's cancellation on such short notice.