U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, and Democrat challenger Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, have agreed to a live debate at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 11 on WQAD News 8.
The half-hour debate has been arranged in partnership with The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus and will be streamed live on Quad-Cities Online and WQAD.com. Jim Mertens, of WQAD, will be the moderator.
Terry Schilling, Rep. Schilling's campaign manager, and Allison Jaslow, Ms. Bustos' campaign manager, agreed to the terms of the debate Wednesday morning at a meeting with representatives of WQAD and The Dispatch-Argus. Prior to the meeting, neither side had agreed to participate in a debate with the other.
The uninterrupted debate will allow each candidate one minute to respond to each question, with rebuttal time to follow. Questions will be determined by WQAD and The Dispatch-Argus with input from the public. Rep. Schilling and Ms. Bustos also will be allowed a 90-second closing statement.
"Bobby Schilling has an excellent record of serving the people of this district, and Bobby looks forward to telling the voters about that record on Oct. 11," a statement from Terry Schilling said.
A cross-section community audience of about 30 people will be chosen by the media outlets to attend the debate in the WQAD studio.
Ms. Bustos previously had accepted an invitation to a debate hosted by KWQC and The Quad City Times, but the Schilling campaign turned it down.
"As we've long stated, our campaign also looks forward to providing additional opportunities for voters across the 17th District to hear directly from the two candidates," Ms. Jaslow said.
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