When candidates for Orlando City Council District 6 debate at the Hope Church on Sept. 23, there will be one notable absence.

Incumbent Sam Ings won’t be there.

When organizers announced the debate, Ings wasn’t listed among the participants, which include real-estate agent Nathan Chambers, activist Lawanna Gelzer, and law professor Ka’Juel Washington.

“Incumbent Commissioner Samuel Ings was invited to the event along with the other qualified District 6 candidates,” debate host T.J. Legacy-Cole told Florida Politics.

“However, Commissioner Ings notified me via email he would not be participating. A specific reason was not given.”

While it is not uncommon for municipal incumbents to skip debates in Central Florida, local commission races have been unpredictable over the last two years. For example, Ing’s District 5 colleague Regina Hill, and Orange County District 6 Commissioner Victoria Siplin both defeated better-funded opponents in unexpected victories.

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