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Candidates for the three Macon County offices up for election in November answer questions from potential voters in a "speed-dating" format for the "Face to Face with the Candidates" debate forum sponsored by the Herald & Review, Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce and Decatur branch of the NAACP on Wednesday at The Decatur Club.

The Herald & Review co-sponsored a candidate forum featuring those running on the November ballot. The event, presented with the Greater Decatur Chamber of Commerce and Decatur branch of the NAACP, featured candidates in county and state contests.

Here are four takeaways from the forum:

THE MADIGAN FACTOR

Questions about House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, D-Chicago, who has held the position for decades, were presented to several candidates. His tenure is a source of controversy, since it allows him to control much of the legislation in the House.

"In Illinois, things are so corrupt that the politicians are able to draw their maps to choose their voters, and there's just no end to the shenanigans that get played," said ​Dan Caulkins, the GOP candidate for the 101st Illinois House Distric​t.

Opponent Jen McMillin pledged she would not vote for Madigan.

"As someone who is new to politics, who keeps hearing from (voters in) the district that they don't want Speaker Madigan leading the House anymore, I have to vote with my district," she said after the event.

MADIGAN, PART 2

The event, at the Decatur Club, also included State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, and her GOP opponent for the 96th House District seat, Springfield Alderman Herman Senor.

Scherer, in her debate segment, did not say directly whether she would vote again for Madigan as speaker.

"He didn't like my vote on pro-life, he didn't like vote on gay marriage, he didn't like my vote protecting state workers, he didn't like my vote protecting state pensions, and I could go on and on," she said.

Senor said he wouldn't support Madigan.

CAULKINS VERSUS SCHERER

Later, Caulkins pointed out Scherer's record of voting for Madigan into the speaker position to undercut McMillin's position against the leader of her own party.

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Sue Scherer and Herman Senor, Representatives for the 96th District answer questions during a State Candidate Panel Discussion on Wednesday at The Decatur Club.

"We've heard this before from people running for office," he said. "Two words: Sue Scherer, she promised not to do that either."

​MORE FORUMS COMING UP

The Herald & Review also is co-sponsoring two more debates.

  • U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, and Democratic challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan of Springfield is planned for Monday, Oct. 22, at Millikin University. The 6 p.m. event at University Commons is co-sponsored by Millikin, WSOY 1340-AM and WAND-TV.
  • At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, a debate between candidates running for Macon County sheriff — Democrat Tony Brown and Republican Jim Root — is scheduled at the Decatur Public Library, 130 N. Franklin St.​
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