A candidate running for office who also has a full-time job does not have a moment to spare on the campaign trail.
He has to campaign long and hard to win the votes he needs to be elected to office - and most especially when running against an incumbent.
That means always using wisely the time he has available to campaign.
And so to answer here a question from the Southern Tier Tea Party - no, there is no surprise that Democrat Rudy Mueller turned down an invitation to a Tea Party debate with incumbent Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, a Republican.
Mueller, a physician with a full-time practice, needs to use his time wisely by seeking votes in places he is most like to find them.
And that most certainly is not at a Tea Party debate.
''It is incomprehensible why Dr. Mueller would forfeit an opportunity, through reasoning and argument, to convert individuals to his point of view,'' wrote a member of the Tea Party.
But that is exactly the point.
Mueller is the more liberal Democrat. Goodell is the more conservative Republican.
The staunchly conservative and unwilling-to-compromise Tea Party members are highly unlikely to be won over anyway. Mueller was much better off using his time to reach out to voters who will be more receptive to his message.
A missive from another member of the Tea Party accuses Mueller of lacking courage for declining to ''debate in an atmosphere of doubt and adversity.'' Considering Mueller's record of feistiness as a county legislator, we dismiss that comment as simply being indicative of the egocentricity of some aspects of the Tea Party itself.
In fact, Goodell and Mueller are meeting at least three times in debates sponsored by neutral parties - twice in public sessions sponsored by the League of Women voters and once at The Post-Journal, where the candidates' in-depth debate will be the basis of a three-part report later this month.
They both also are speaking to groups individually all across the district as well as campaigning door to door.
Voters can be as informed about the candidates as they choose to be come Election Day.