Dugan, Parkhurst to share stage

September 20, 2018

In a campaign marked by misleading attacks, the two local state representative candidates finally will share a stage.

Kankakee Community College is holding an event it is billing as a town hall for state Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst, R-Kankakee, and challenger Lisa Dugan, D-Bradley, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 3, at the main auditorium, across from the cafeteria.

The public is invited to attend.

Audience members can fill out cards with questions that the moderator, government professor Steven DePasquale, can ask the candidates.

“We feel as a community college, it is our obligation that our citizenry is engaged,” Kris Condon, the college’s paralegal program coordinator, said in an interview. “We’ll delighted that Ms. Parkhurst and Ms. Dugan will attend.”

The two women are running Nov. 6 in the Kankakee County-based 79th House District, which Parkhurst has represented since 2017. Dugan previously served for a decade, leaving the House in 2013.

The candidates’ political parties have spent tens of thousands of dollars in attack mailers, accusing each other’s candidates of being friendly to sexual predators. The flyers, meanwhile, say little about the candidates’ plans on taxes, the budget and the state’s staggering pension debt.

Neither Dugan nor Parkhurst has publicly disavowed their parties’ attack mailers. Most of their political donations come from their parties, with only a tiny fraction coming from their constituents.

The town hall is being sponsored by the college’s chapter of Lambda Epsilon Chi, a national academic honor society in paralegal studies.

Since 2008, the chapter has held town halls for candidates. This will be the fourth time it has held one for state representative hopefuls.

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