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First debate between Foster-Senger set

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 11:29 p.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014 12:27 a.m. CST

NAPERVILLE – The first confirmed debate for the 11th Congressional District race is a candidate forum Oct. 23 on WTTW.

The forum is scheduled to air live at 7 p.m. on WTTW-Channel 11, the public television station out of Chicago. The participants are incumbent Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville, and opponent state Rep. Darlene Senger, R-Naperville.

The candidates will be interviewed live by a moderator who is yet to be determined, WTTW Manager of Media Relations Julia Maish confirmed in an email.

The forum will also have no studio audience, although that could change, Maish said.

“We’re happy to do the debate with WTTW,” said Anthony Barry, Senger’s campaign manager. “But the constant issue is we want to do open debates in front of the voters who can ask questions. That has been the battle with Congressman Foster from the get-go.”

Senger’s campaign released several statements in the last couple of weeks saying that Foster “continues to hide out” by not agreeing to open debates.

Both sides have said they want to have the same debates Foster had with 2012 congressional opponent Judy Biggert. Those included a forum with the Chicago Tribune editorial board, a community forum at the Temple Beth Shalom, a debate sponsored by ABC 7 Chicago and the League of Women Voters and the WTTW candidate forum

Foster’s campaign manager Craig Belden said Foster has agreed to the same debates he held with opponent Judy Biggert in 2012.

“We agree with Representative Senger that the public was well served by the debates we had with Congresswoman Biggert in 2012, and have therefore agreed to participate in the same set of debates this year,” Belden said. “We hope Representative Senger joins us for these important issues.”

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