Update: Minor Party Candidates Saddle Up for All-Inclusive Gubernatorial and U.S. Senate Debates in Illinois, Thursday.

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Christina Tobin, Founder and Chair
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Candidates Saddle Up for All-Inclusive Gubernatorial and U.S. Senate Debates in Illinois, Thursday.
DEKALB, Ill. — While the two major party candidates continue to debate only amongst themselves, all six minor party gubernatorial and U.S. Senate candidates in Illinois are gearing up to participate in what is sure to be a vigorous all-inclusive back-to-back candidate debate hosted at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, in the Carl Sandburg Auditorium located in Holmes Student Center, Thursday, October 21, 2010.
All ballot qualified candidates have been invited to participate in the event, which is part of a nationwide all-inclusive debate tour supporting the right of voters to hear from all candidates on an equal playing field, and is sponsored by Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, National Taxpayers United of Illinois, Restore the Republic (RTR.org) and The Free and Equal Elections Foundation.
In the race for a U.S. Senate seat, Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones, Libertarian Party candidate Mike Labno and Independent candidate William Boyd, who is running as a write-in candidate after being removed from the November 2nd ballot despite collecting more than 25,000 signatures, have agreed to participate in the Free and Equal U.S. Senate debate from 6 – 7:30 p.m. CDT.
Republican Party candidate Mark Kirk, has yet to respond, and Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias will be unable to attend the debate for reasons unbeknown to his campaign scheduler, other than the candidate will not be in the DeKalb area October 21, his scheduler said.
The Daily Caller, in a September 22 report, has Labno quoted as saying, “Alexi should be extending an invitation to me to be on the stage with him, to debate,” he said. “The way I see it, if he thinks it’s going to help him, then it can only help him much more if, if I’m sitting on the stage next to him and battling against Mark Kirk.” Free and Equal supports this invitation and continues to extend it to Giannoulias and Kirk.
Independent candidate Scott Lee Cohen, Libertarian Party candidate Lex Green, Constitution Party candidate Michael White and Green Party candidate Rich Whitney, all vying to become the next governor of Illinois, have agreed to debate from 8 – 9:30 p.m. CDT.
Democratic candidate Pat Quinn and Republican candidate Bill Brady have yet to respond.
The debates will follow a cumulative format, moderated by Christina Tobin, founder and chair of Free and Equal and candidate for Secretary of State in California. National Public Radio (NPR), The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and other prominent media outlets typically cover Free and Equal events, and Free and Equal expects this debate to garner similar media coverage. WTVO Channel 17 in Rockford, Ill., and Daily Herald officials have said they will cover the event. This debate, like all Free and Equal sponsored debates, will be streamed live and archived on the Free and Equal website.
“These debates will demonstrate that it is not an undue burden, or even difficult, to include all ballot-qualified candidates,” Tobin said. “The other organizations planning on holding debates should fulfill their civic responsibility and also invite all ballot qualified candidates to participate.”
The debates are free and open to the public. Free and Equal asks that all media professionals planning to cover this event submit their requests for media credentials to Kaylee Campbell Burton, public relations director for Free and Equal, via email to kaylee@freeandequal.org, or by phone or text to 405.295.5420.
Free & Equal is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, public-policy advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the rights of the politically marginalized and disenfranchised.