Allan Fung, the Republican candidate in the 2nd Congressional District, will not be participating in a candidate forum organized by an interfaith panel of clergy leaders later this week.

Rabbi Jeffrey Goldwasser of Temple Sinai in Cranston said organizers offered five different dates for the event to Fung’s campaign, Aug. 16, 18, 30, 31 and September 1, and was told he was unavailable for all of them.

Goldwasser said Fung's campaign manager initially said she would try to adjust his schedule so he could attend. This involved changing a flight from Wyoming. The next day, Goldwasser said, Fung's campaign said rescheduling was not possible and she later rejected other proposed dates, he said.

Fung’s campaign did not respond to questions about the candidate’s absence from the event planned for 10 a.m. this Thursday, Aug. 18, at Temple Sinai.

According to a promotion for the forum, “Join us over Zoom or in person as the panel asks the candidates questions of concern to faith communities that will be debated in the 118th Congress, including poverty, public health, abortion, guns, freedom of religion and environmental protection. The forum is open to everyone.”

The only other forum or debate in CD2 ahead of the Sept. 13 primary election is being staged on Aug. 30 by WPRI-TV, Channel 12.

Goldwasser said five of the six Democratic candidates in CD2 are taking part in the clergy leaders’ forum — Omar Bah, Joy Fox, Sarah Morgenthau, Seth Magaziner and David Segal. One other Democrat, Spencer Dickinson, did not meet criteria for participation, including raising at least $5,000 in campaign funds, Goldwasser said.

Polling shows Magaziner, who currently serves as Rhode Island’s general treasurer, as the frontrunner among Democrats, although many voters remain undecided.

Fung has focused his campaign message on blaming Democrats for inflation and highlighting his record as the former mayor of Cranston.

Patricia Socarras, spokeswoman for Magaziner’s campaign, called Fung’s decision to not participate in the faith leaders’ forum “the latest example of Allan Fung refusing to answer questions about his right-wing positions that he knows are out of step with most Rhode Islanders.”

This is an updated story. Goldwasser initially said that Fung's campaign said he was unavailable for six dates.

Ian Donnis can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @IanDon