August 02, 2012

Televised debate features 12th District candidates

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The two major party candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives from Southern Illinois face off Aug. 15 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in their first live televised debate of the 2012 campaign.

Democrat William Enyart of Belleville and Republican Jason Plummer of O'Fallon will meet in an hour-long debate broadcast live from WSIU-TV studios. The debate is from 7 to 8 p.m.

The two men are seeking the 12th District seat being vacated by incumbent U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, who is retiring. Both political parties consider the race a toss-up, and it is a focus of national attention as each party seeks control of the U.S. House in the November election.

WSIU-TV, The Southern Illinoisan, The Belleville News Democrat, the Jackson County League of Women Voters, and the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute sponsor the event.

Jak Tichenor of WSIU-TV will moderate the debate. The candidates will respond to questions suggested by the League of Women Voters, and by reporters from the station, The Southern Illinoisan, and the Belleville News Democrat. Each candidate will deliver brief opening and closing statements, and questions will alternate between the two.

The event is ticketed, and seating in the studio is by invitation only. Members of the public are invited to watch the debate live on television in an overflow room at the station and participate in a reception hosted by the Simon Institute following the event.