The Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Illinois is garnering national attention, but whether the two announced candidates will debate is still up in the air.
Democratic candidate Andrea Zopp says there hasn’t been any confirmation from her opponent, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, about if or when any debates will take place. Zopp says she’s not ready to put a number of how many debates she’ll want held.
“We will. We haven’t, and of course, I want to debate Congresswoman Duckworth and have an opportunity to share our positions with each other and directly to the voters,” Zopp said.
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There hasn’t been much consistency on debates in recent Senate primaries in Illinois. In last year’s Republican race, only one untelevised debate was held. In the 2010 primary, the three top Democratic contenders met several times, while eventual Republican nominee and current U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) bypassed meetings against rivals who were far behind him in the polls.
Duckworth’s campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment on whether any debates are being planned.
A difference this time may be the national interest in the Zopp vs. Duckworth race.
“Taking back the seat from Sen. Kirk for the Democratic Party is critical for the party across the country, and we’re going to do that here, and I expect that I will be able to do that against Sen. Kirk,” Zopp said.
Zopp says she saw this interest firsthand in visiting Washington, D.C. last week, when she met with groups like the National Council of Jewish Women and J Street, along with attending a reception at the White House for the White House Fellows Program, for which Zopp once served on the selection committee.