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Peck Invites Bertino-Tarrant to Debate

The candidates will face off in the race for the newly formed 49th State Senate District.

An Illinois Senate hopeful has challenged his opponent to what he calls a “Lincoln/Douglas-style” debate.

Republican is facing Democrat Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant in the race to represent the newly formed 49th District.

Peck, who serves on the village board, issued a press release Wednesday calling on Bertino-Tarrant to join him at a debate sometime in mid-October.

“As a private citizen, I always got tired of learning about where those running for office stood on issues through television commercials and campaign literature.” Peck said. “Now that I am a candidate, I want to bring an open dialogue to the public and give them the choice as to what they think is best for them and their families from a source they may not be used to, the candidate’s own mouth.”

Bertino-Tarrant, who confirmed that Peck did send her two letters over Labor Day weekend, is declining Peck's invitation, but said she's more than willing to engage in debate.

“In just over two weeks, both candidates will be answering the voters’ questions at an open event in the Grand Haven community, one of at least four public forums and debates already on our calendar,” Bertino-Tarrant campaign spokesman Mike Carson said in an email. "We are not planning on coordinating a separate debate with Mr. Peck."

The Grand Haven event, co-sponsored by Lewis University, is slated for Sept. 20 at Lewis, 1 University Parkway, Romeoville.

“Jennifer is always looking for ways to speak directly to residents of the district at events held by community groups, and we are excited about the many opportunities that both candidates will have to discuss their goals for the 49th District,” Carson said.

Currently, Bertino-Tarrant serves as the Will County regional superintendent of schools.

Peck is calling for a two-hour debate at what he refers to as a “neutral venue” in neither candidate’s hometown. Peck is a Plainfield resident, while Bertino-Tarrant lives in Shorewood.

At the debate, Peck said, citizens would be invited to attend and ask questions throughout the event, and both candidates would be able to come armed with notes or prepared statements.

“I believe there are few better examples of explaining who you are and what you stand for than Lincoln-Douglas style debates, and no better way of having a direct, yet respectful, discourse with an opponent on issues,” Peck said.

In addition to taking part in debates, Carson said Bertino-Tarrant is working to engage with voters one-on-one.

Jennifer has knocked on thousands of doors already, and her volunteers have rang tens of thousands of doorbells over the last few months to talk about the issues with their neighbors in the district,” Carson said. “While Jennifer is certainly looking forward to the series of upcoming debates, we are most excited about continuing to visit neighborhoods across the district to talk with voters about what matters to them most.”

Editor's note: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that the Grand Haven candidates forum would take place at the Grand Haven community. It is scheduled to take place at Lewis University in Romeoville.

Jethro September 08, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Garrett Peck...family man ( hush hush )
Plainfield Pete September 08, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Seems like people have selective reading skills. The article says that there are already at least four public forums and debates scheduled. How many do you need?
Tinfoil Hat September 08, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Things never change-- the typical party hacks form the LEFT responding with personal attacks against Mr. Peck. This will be Jenny's strategy.. Launch a half million dollar TV/mail campaign slandering Mr. Peck with lies and untrue promises on her end. Remember who has already funded her- Mike Madigan's Chicago machine-- with tens of thousands of dollars--. Soon to be hundreds of thousands of dollars. The "forums" her staff refer to are not debates, they are structured events where the candidates have rehearsed presentations and are not acountable to answer questions from the audience or respond to each other's actions. Jenny will hide behind Madigan's $ for the next 60 days and that is that!
Tim September 08, 2012 at 09:42 PM
personal attacks? Feel free to point out Mr. Pecks voting record on important issues when he was on the village board. Even the Patch 'info page' on him has absolutely no mention of his voting record; http://plainfield.patch.com/local_facts/march-2012-primary-garrett-peck His own website, while mentioning his 'voting record', doesn't actually mention a single important vote. Not one. http://peck4senate.com/ If the man himself can't find anything to put on his own website, to give people an idea exactly what type of voting record he has, why should anyone vote for him?
Tinfoil Hat September 09, 2012 at 02:03 AM
What's interesting is that Mr. Peck's opponent doesn't have ANY voting record whatsoever to stand on. I do remember Mr. Peck voting against all of the water rate and tax increases. I emailed him to thank him. He also sends my family Birthday and Christmas cards as well with a disclaimer that tax payer dollars were not used. I never even heard of this Jenny lady.

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