As Election Day nears, both candidates for the 59th House District say they want to give voters plenty of opportunities to learn about where they stand on key issues.
State Rep. Sid Mathias (R-Buffalo Grove) has challenged State Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) to meet him at least three public debates before early voting begins Oct. 22. New political boundaries have placed the two incumbents in the same district this year.
In a Sept. 7 letter mailed to Sente, Mathias challenged his opponent to meet him for Lincoln-Douglas-style debates moderated by neutral parties.
“It is vitally important that the public be given the opportunity to compare and contrast our views on the important issues facing the great state of Illinois,” Mathias wrote. “To that end, I believe it is our duty to stand on stage together and answer questions about our positions and what we believe to be the path forward for Illinois and the communities in the 59th District.
Sente said Thursday that she had not yet received Mathias’ letter, but that she had planned to approach him next week to discuss debates. She said such plans could have been made by a casual phone call. "We know each other," she said. "I don't understand the formality of the request."
She said she particularly wants voters to understand the candidates’ different views on property taxes and state pension reform.
“I think [debates are] an important vehicle for people. We will absolutely hold some,” she said. “I think we are vastly different candidates and I think it’s important for people to know that.”
The General Election is Nov. 6. The redrawn 59th District includes parts of Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Wheeling, Lake Forest, Gurnee, Green Oaks, Mundelein, Riverwoods, Indian Creek, Mettawa, Green Oaks, Waukegan and Park City.