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Election

Roskam declines invitation to participate in League of Women Voters candidate forum

GLEN ELLYN – Much to the disappointment of local Leagues of Women Voters, there will not be a candidate forum next month featuring U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, and Democratic challenger Sean Casten of Downers Grove.

The League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn, together with other League of Women Voters organizations, wanted to jointly host a forum Sept. 16 at Glenbard South High School featuring Roskam and Casten. Although Casten had accepted the invitation, Roskam did not.

"Federal Election Commission rules forbid us from hosting a forum if one of the two candidates is unwilling to attend," League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn officials said in a statement.

The Sept. 16 forum will now feature candidates for DuPage County offices, including the DuPage County Board. Another candidate forum Sept. 27 will feature state and DuPage County judge races.

League of Women Voters of Glen Ellyn Co-president Amy Hohulin said she was disappointed Roskam and Casten will not be part of the Sept. 16 forum.

"During the primary, we had a candidate forum for the seven people running for the Democratic ticket," Hohulin said in a phone interview. "And all seven of them showed up. We had a packed house. We had standing room only. People were really appreciative of the league organizing the event so they could see the candidates and decide who they would want to vote for."

The forum was held in February at Glenbard South High School. Roskam, who was first elected to Congress in 2006, faced no Republican opponent in the primary.

Roskam and Casten did participate in a televised debate in July at the Union League Club of Chicago. The debate was the first televised debate between the two candidates.

"We have agreed to five debates throughout the campaign season, two to come and three completed (one on radio, one televised with a live audience of Sixth District residents and one editorial board meeting)," Roskam for Congress Communications Director Veronica Vera said in a statement. "The October debate will be televised as well. These formats offer the greatest accessibility to the greatest number of Sixth District residents."

The two candidates are set to square off in another debate Oct. 22 that will be televised on WTTW Chicago Public Media.

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