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Foster’s challenger wants debates open to public

Senger running against congressman in Nov. 4 election

Published: Monday, Aug. 18, 2014 10:23 p.m. CDT

State Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville, who is challenging U.S. Rep Bill Foster, D-Naperville, for Illinois’ 11th Congressional District seat, wants a series of debates between the two to be open to the public.

“I am happy to see that Congressman Foster has finally come around to having a discussion about the issues we face here in Illinois and as a nation, but the citizens of the 11th District deserve more than a closed-room interview with reporters,” Senger wrote in a news release. “The citizens of the 11th District deserve the right to sit face to face with both Congressman Foster and myself as we discuss the real issues facing them and ask any questions they may have.”

The debates will be held before the Nov. 4 general election.

In the release, Senger said she now has accepted debate or forum invitations from The League of Women Voters, The Civic Committee of Carillon Lakes located in Crest Hill and Plainfield, the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation and WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight,” which is a closed-TV set forum.

“The fact still remains that four different independent organizations have reached out to hold public debates/forums to both Congressman Foster and myself, and I am the only candidate in this race to accept them all,” Senger said in the release.

In response, Foster said he wants to debate Senger. He is challenging Senger to the same debate and forum schedule as he had with his 2012 opponent, Judy Biggert – a joint meeting with the “Chicago Tribune” editorial board, a community forum at Temple Beth Shalom, a debate sponsored by ABC 7 Chicago and the League of Women Voters and a joint appearance on WTTW.

“Participating in debates that are organized by independent news organizations provides an opportunity to have an honest discussion on the issues that reaches constituents throughout the district,” his campaign office said in response to Senger. “As a scientist and businessman, Bill is committed to getting the facts on the table and having a thoughtful discussion on the issues so voters can make informed decisions. That is why he has proposed the same series of debates that were held in 2012.”

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