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Duckworth confirms three TV debates with Kirk ahead of election

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. and Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. | Associated Press and Sun-Times photos

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth has confirmed her participation in three televised debates in the final days of her contentious Senate race against Republican Sen. Mark Kirk.

Duckworth’s campaign on Thursday said she’ll participate in a University of Illinois at Springfield debate on Oct. 24; a City Club of Chicago and WTTW “Chicago Tonight” debate on Oct. 26 and a final debate on ABC-7 with the League of Women Voters in Chicago on a date that’s still being determined.

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth in 2014. (AP File Photo/Seth Perlman)
U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth in 2014. (AP File Photo/Seth Perlman)

Duckworth will also appear before the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times editorial boards before the November election.

Her campaign called the events ones with “significant statewide reach.” But that’s something at least one of her primary opponents criticized earlier this year.

Sen. Mark Kirk . (File Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
Sen. Mark Kirk . (File Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)

Andrea Zopp, the former head of the Chicago Urban League, who now serves as a deputy mayor under Mayor Emanuel, repeatedly accused Duckworth of not accepting debate offers before the March primary, including on the South Side of Chicago. Duckworth’s campaign, however, said she would instead be traveling around the state and talking directly with Illinois voters.

Deputy campaign manager Matt McGrath also noted in February that each primary debate drew “extensive coverage, was streamed live, and continues to exist online.”

In the March primary, Duckworth won 64 percent to Zopp’s 24 percent. Kirk also trounced his opponent James Marter, 71 percent to 29 percent.