The leader of the New Democrats says a star Tory candidate's absence from a St. John's campaign debate Tuesday night reeks of arrogance.

NDP Leader Lorraine Michael took part in a debate sponsored by the Georgestown Neighbourhood Association, as did Liberal candidate Drew Brown.

Progressive Conservative candidate John Noseworthy, however, did not take part, over apparent concerns that members of the association were also working in Michael's campaign.

Michael said Noseworthy's no-show spoke volumes.

"The fact that he has that same arrogant attitude, that he could ignore people in the district that he's asking to vote for him, ignore that, shows he has the same arrogance as the party he's running for," Michael told CBC News.

Noseworthy stepped down as Newfoundland and Labrador's auditor general in July. A couple of weeks later, he announced his intentions to challenge Michael in her seat, which covers several neighbourhoods in the east end of St. John's.

During the debate, Brown distanced himself from comments made at a St. John's Board of Trade debate by fellow Liberal candidate Danny Dumaresque.

"There are a hell of a lot more priorities outside the overpass that need to be addressed before we start forking more money over to the City of St. John's," said Dumaresque, who said the Liberals would never entertain a plea from the City of St. John's for revenue to pay for municipal services to such institutions as the Health Sciences Centre and Confederation Building.

Brown said Dumaresque's words were an "idiotic comment by an idiotic man."