Fearing the political overtones, the Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Ontario County will replace Hillary Rodham Clinton as the keynote speaker at an upcoming conference.
The conference on wages and professionalism for child care providers had been scheduled for mid-February but is being postponed because of low enrollment, said Pam Chiverton, executive director.
Of the 75 invitations sent to policy-makers, business leaders and school superintendents, only four were returned, Chiverton said.
The Cooperative Extension is a nonpartisan organization, Chiverton said, and agency officials were uncomfortable with the fact that Clinton says she is weeks away from formally announcing her candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
Clinton's presence at the conference could have created a misconception that the Cooperative Extension was endorsing her, Chiverton said. The first lady had been invited to the conference last summer.