Shortly after Sen. Scott Brown's campaign announced Monday that the Republican incumbent will cancel his appearance at Tuesday's Senate debate in Massachusetts, his Democratic opponent Elizabeth Warren also pulled out of the event. Both cited conditions related to Hurricane Sandy.
"It is simply not appropriate to go forward with a political debate when a disaster strikes," Colin Read, Brown's campaign communications director, said in a statement. "The focus for all of us before, during and after the storm needs to be on emergency response and disaster relief, not campaigns and politics."
About an hour and a half later, Warren campaign manager Mindy Myers sent out a statement on the debate, as well:
"Elizabeth believes the focus now must be on public safety and ensuring people get the help they need during the storm and in its aftermath," Myers said. "With the concern for public safety and cleanup paramount, Elizabeth believes the debate should not be held tomorrow."
The debate--the fourth and final showdown of the season--is scheduled to take place at the WGBH studios in Brighton and moderated by CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
Both Brown and Warren canceled their public campaign events on Monday as the Category 1 hurricane barreled toward the U.S. East Coast. Senate candidates in Pennsylvania and Virginia, as well as the presidential candidates, also scrapped some events off their schedules. A Maine Senate debate scheduled for Tuesday was also canceled.
The contest is one of the most expensive and closely watched Senate races in the country, and a recent poll shows the two candidates in a close sprint toward the finish line.
No announcements have been made on whether the debate will be rescheduled.