August 27, 2012

Students can meet congressional candidates

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale students will have a chance over the next several weeks to meet each of the three candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives from Southern Illinois.

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute will host a "Pizza and Politics" session with each of the three candidates for the 12th District seat of incumbent U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, who is retiring. Each of the sessions will be in the Institute lobby, 1231 Lincoln Drive, in the old U.S. Forestry Building.

Democrat William Enyart of Belleville will meet with students at noon, Thursday, Aug. 30. Republican Jason Plummer of O'Fallon will meet students at 5 p.m., Sept. 13, and Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw of Carbondale will discuss her campaign at 5 p.m., Sept. 18.

David Yepsen, Institute director, said students are the primary audience for the candidates.

"This is an open seat in Congress, it looks like it could be a close race, and the student vote will be important," he said.  "Setting up this venue will allow students to meet them, and conceivably even volunteer to do some work for them -- which is a way students always begin their own political careers."

The event is free, but Institute officials encourage registration. To register, contact Carol Greenlee, Institute project coordinator, at 618/453-4078 or by email at