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Daily Journal
     February 20, 2020      #91-51 KDJ

NAACP to host first of candidate forums 

By Chris Breach

KANKAKEE — As area voters prepare for the March 17 primary election, the Kankakee County Branch of the NAACP will host the first in a series of candidate forums next week.

The NAACP's political action committee will present the 40th District Senate Candidate Forum at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, in the fourth-floor auditorium of the Kankakee Public Library, 201 E. Merchant St., Kankakee.

Democrat candidates confirmed for the debate, which will last approximately an hour and a half, are state Sen. Patrick Joyce, Monica Gordon, Marta Perales and Lori Wilcox. Joyce was appointed to fill the seat of Toi Hutchinson, who was named Illinois' pot czar in September to oversee the state's recreational marijuana program.

The winner of the March 17 primary will move on to the Nov. 3 general election and face Republican challenger Eric Wallace. The 40th District includes a large part of northern Kankakee County, parts of Will County and includes parts of Chicago Heights, Flossmoor, Olympia Fields, Park Forest and University Park.

The Kankakee NAACP hosts candidate debates and forums to help voters learn more about the candidates on the ballot.

"We've been doing these for more than 20 years," said Theodis Pace, Kankakee NAACP president. "The voters can come out and hear the candidates for the 40th District. ... We're looking for a great crowd. We're inviting the public to come out. It's free, there's no charge."

Pace said the candidates will talk about issues facing voters in the district and the state, including economic development in the area and the push to get natural gas in Pembroke Township.

The NAACP will also host forums in the races for 79th State Representative and Kankakee County Auditor on March 3.

If You Go

Candidate forums

Hosted by the Kankakee County Branch of the NAACP and the Kankakee Public Library, there will be two evenings of candidate forums in the run-up to the March 17 primary election. All events are free to attend and will be held on the fourth floor of the Kankakee Public Library, 201 E. Merchant St., Kankakee.

Senate 40th District

5:30 p.m. Monday

The candidates are Monica Gordon, Patrick Joyce, Marta Perales and Lori Wilcox

79th District State Representative 

5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 3

The candidates are Charlene Eads and Robert Snipes

Kankakee County Auditor

6:45 p.m. Tuesday, March 3

The candidates are Jake Lee and Brandon Meredith

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Christopher Breach
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