WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids canceled a scheduled televised debate set for Monday night between the two U. S. Senate candidates, but that didn't keep one of them from taking his message directly to voters.

MLive.com is reporting today that while the studios at the west Michigan television station sat empty due to lack of agreement on the debate, Democrat Gary Peters was a short distance away holding a town hall-style gathering at Grand Valley State University.  In attendance, was the congressman and an empty chair adorned only with a Terri Lynn Land campaign sign.

"If a candidate isn't willing when they are running for office, to stand up and say what they are for, if they were elected, they would completely disappear,"  Peters told the group.

WOOD-TV canceled the event when Republican Land didn't respond to the invitation to appear.   Her campaign has said she is more than willing to debate and has been working with the Peters' camp to work out a schedule.  About two months still remain before voters head to the polls to decide who will replace retiring Democratic Senator Carl Levin.

Peters seized the opportunity to use the "no-show" to claim Land is simply hiding.

"When one side doesn't want to (debate) and only put out misleading ads, and have hundreds of millions of dollars behind them on that side, that's a perversion of the process and corrupts the process."

The race is being watched closely as a possible win for the GOP for the first time in decades.  Recent polls have put Land ahead, but by just one percentage point.  Others, give the advantage to Peters.  But all, have been within the margin of error leading analysts to believe the only "real" poll that matters will come on election day.

Join Jo Anne Paul weekdays for news updates on 99.1 WFMK-FM, 100.7 WITL-FM and 1240 WJIM-AM and the other stations of the Michigan Talk Network
joanne.paul@townsquaremedia.com