PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, widely considered the front-runner for the Republican nomination for governor, has skipped out on an on-air debate with his two competitors.

WPRO-AM reports businessman Giovanni Feroce expressed disappointment in Fung's absence during the radio station's debate Wednesday, saying he wondered whether Fung could show up for the state.

Both Feroce and House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan later questioned whether Fung could handle public safety amid previous state reports that he mismanaged the Cranston Police Department.

While Fung has committed to doing only one primary debate, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo declined to participate in any debates before the Sept. 12 primary.

Her challenger, Matt Brown, criticized the governor's decision, saying the voters "deserve to hear us present our ideas and answer questions in an open format."


Information from: WPRO-AM,