Utica, NY (WIBX) - The League of Women Voters has cancelled its debate at SUNYIT, after Congressman Richard Hanna declined to participate.

Officials with the group said invitations for the October 24 debate were mailed out in August to the candidates, but only Democratic candidate, Dan Lamb, responded.

Rather than continue, the League of Women Voters "decided not to go forward with the debate, since we do not believe that "empty chair" debates are a productive forum."

Representatives from the organization also said that although Hanna is participating in six debates throughout the congressional district, "none of these are structured in a way that will provide the kind of citizen participation in the great Utica area that our sponsored debate would have provided."

Other sponsors for the event included the Resource Center for Independent Living, WUTR and WIBX.