Free and Equal: Back-to-Back U.S. Senatorial Candidate and Gubernatorial Candidate Debates to Take Place at Northern Illinois University

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DeKalb, Ill. -The first U.S. senatorial candidate debate organized by Free and Equal Elections Foundation, to be hosted by Northern Illinois University at DeKalb, has been rescheduled for October and expanded into a back-to-back debate event including Free and Equal’s fourth gubernatorial candidate debate. Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity will sponsor the debates. Free and Equal previously has organized three gubernatorial debates in Illinois, the most recent of which was sponsored in part by Kappa Alpha Psi at Chicago State University.

All qualified candidates will be invited to participate in the debate. This includes candidates on the ballot and any write-in candidates that turned in signatures equivalent to the established party requirement but were removed from the ballot. Free and Equal supports a $500 flat filing fee in lieu of signatures as a ballot access requirement. Two-thirds of our US states use a filing fee system without experiencing problems in their elections.

“Free and Equal is committed to giving all qualified candidates an equal voice in the debate,” said Christina Tobin, CEO and founder of Free and Equal, who will moderate the debate. “Illinois voters deserve a diversity of choices on the ballot.”

Free and Equal’s third Illinois gubernatorial debate, that took place in July, was covered by dozens of media outlets, including public radio stations WBEZ in Chicago, WSIU in Carbondale, and WILL in Champaign, along with the Chicago Sun-Times, Southtown Star, Huffington Post, Dekalb Daily-Chronicle, Chicagoist and the Chicago Tribune Media Group’s ChicagoNow. A live feed of the U.S. Senatorial debate will be available at

“The response to the last debate, from people in attendance and from those watching at home on their computers, has been tremendous,” Tobin said. “There is a hunger out there for more discussion and debate about the substantive issues that we all face. Free and Equal is looking to provide Illinois voters with more opportunities to learn about their political choices.”

Free and Equal will continue to organize all-inclusive candidate debates in Illinois and other states throughout this election season. Potential debate sponsors, hosts, and media partners are encouraged to please contact Free and Equal for more information.


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