3 of 4 GOP governor candidates agree to debate

PEORIA — Three of the four Republican candidates for Illinois governor — state Sens. Bill Brady of Bloomington and Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, and State Treasurer Dan Rutherford of Chenoa — have agreed to participate in a televised debate on Jan. 23, hosted by four Illinois public broadcasters and the League of Women Voters of Illinois.

The debate sponsors say they're still waiting to hear from the fourth GOP candidate, Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner.

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The debate will take place in Peoria at WTVP, which will sponsor and broadcast the debate along with WILL-TV and WILL-AM in Urbana, WSIU-FM-TV in Carbondale and WUIS-FM in Springfield. Other public broadcasting stations throughout Illinois also be offered the chance to broadcast the 90-minute debate, which will air along with post-debate analysis from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

H. Wayne Wilson, a host/producer at WTVP, will moderate with questioning by a panel of four journalists: Jim Meadows, senior reporter and host of "Focus" on WILL-AM; Jak Tichenor, host of "Illinois Lawmakers," from WSIU; Amanda Vinicky, statehouse bureau chief from WUIS; and a yet-to-be-named journalism student from the public affairs reporting program at University of Illinois-Springfield.

There are no plans currently to produce a debate between the two Democratic gubernatorial candidates, Gov. Pat Quinn and challenger Tio Hardimon of Hillside.

The winner of the Republican primary will be invited to a fall general election debate sponsored by Illinois public broadcasters and the League ofWomen Voters of Illinois.

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