Legislative candidates to debate

CHAMPAIGN — Legislative candidates in the 103rd House, 104th House and 52nd Senate districts will meet Thursday night in a debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Champaign County, the NAACP and The News-Gazette.

The forum will begin at 7 p.m. at the Champaign City Council chambers, 102 N. Neil St., C. It is free and open to the public. The debates also will be broadcast live on Champaign's cable television channel.

The first debate, beginning at 7 p.m., will feature the candidates in the 103rd House District, state Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, and her Republican challenger, Rob Meister, of Champaign. The district takes in almost of all Champaign and Urbana.

The second, at 8 p.m., will include state Rep. Chad Hays, R-Catlin, and his Democratic challenger, Michael Langendorf, of Urbana. They are running in the 104th House District. The district takes in most of Vermilion County, including all of Danville, plus much of eastern Champaign County, including Rantoul, Gifford, Thomasboro and Savoy.

At 9 p.m. the 52nd Senate District candidates, Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, will meet Republican challenger John Bambenek, also of Champaign. The boundaries of the House 103rd and 104th districts make up the 52nd Senate District. Questions can be submitted in writing by audience members at each of the debates. They will be screened by members of the League of Women Voters and the NAACP.

Moderators for Thursday's debates will be Carolyn Casady Trimble of the League of Women Voters and Sandra Kato of the NAACP.

Another series of candidate debates is scheduled for Oct. 24, featuring the candidates for county auditor, circuit court clerk, county clerk and county recorder. It also will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Champaign City Council chambers.

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