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WTTW’s CHICAGO TONIGHT to Host Candidate Forums

The nightly newsmagazine to present nine forums, as well as an online voters’ guide, to Cook County races prior to the March 2016 primary election

For immediate release
Chicago, IL - February 17, 2016

WTTW, one of the Midwest’s premier public media organizations, announced today that its flagship nightly newsmagazine CHICAGO TONIGHT will present nine (9) live candidate forums in February and March 2016. The forums will focus on some contested races for county and federal offices in the March 15 primaries.  These forums, which will vary in length, will take place during CHICAGO TONIGHT’S live broadcasts at 7:00 pm on WTTW11 on the dates listed below.

The CHICAGO TONIGHT candidate forums are scheduled as follows. Candidates’ names are in alphabetical order; those in bold have accepted the invitation as of the time of this release:




Tuesday, February 16

4th Congressional District (D)

Luis Gutierrez*
Javier Salas

Wednesday, February 17

7th Congressional District (D)

Danny Davis*
Thomas Day

Tuesday, March 1

8th Congressional District (D)

Deborah M. Bulwinkel
Raja Krishnamoorthi
Michael Noland

Wednesday, March 2

10th Congressional District (D)

Nancy Rotering
Brad Schneider

Thursday, March 3

11th Congressional District (R)

Tonia Khouri
Nick Stella
Herman B. White

Monday, March 7

1st Congressional District (D)

Howard Brookins
Bobby Rush*

Tuesday, March 8

U.S. Senate (D)

Tammy Duckworth
Andrea Zopp

Wednesday, March 9

Clerk of the Circuit Court
of Cook County (D)

Dorothy Brown*
Michelle Harris
Jacob Meister

Thursday, March 10

Cook County State’s Attorney (D)

Anita Alvarez*
Kim Foxx
Donna More


Candidate Forums on CHICAGO TONIGHT are being underwritten, in part, by The City Club of Chicago. The League of Women Voters of Cook County is also a co-sponsor of the March 10 forum.

WTTW will also offer a comprehensive online 2016 Voters’ Guide to the Cook County Primaries, sponsored by The League of Women Voters of Cook County. This digital initiative is designed to provide information about the candidates (from all parties) running for Cook County offices in the March 15 election. These include Clerk of the Circuit Court, State’s Attorney, Recorder of Deeds, two Board of Review Commissioners, and four Commissioners for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD).

Each candidate is given two minutes to present their platforms, explain why they feel they are best qualified, and outline what they intend to do if elected or re-elected. The messages were recorded at the WTTW studios at no cost to the candidates. The Voters’ Guide is an online version of Candidate Free Time, pioneered by WTTW in the 1992 race for U.S. Senate. This year, WTTW is proud to partner with the League of Women Voters of Cook County to give voters this guide to candidates for Cook County office, available at beginning on February 19.

WTTW’s CHICAGO TONIGHT to present Candidate Forums and Online Voters’ Guide

“WTTW has always been honored to play an important role in the electoral process. By offering our audiences the opportunity to view the candidates having an in-depth conversation about issues relevant to their lives, we can help them make informed choices when they head to the polls,” said Dan Schmidt, President and CEO of WTTW. “We take our civic responsibility to the public very seriously, always mindful that it is one of the most vital facets of our mission.”

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan, political organization that encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.  The League of Women Voters of Cook County is composed of over 1,100 members in 14 local Leagues within Cook County.

The City Club of Chicago is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose members include prominent business, civic, and government leaders in Chicago. The organization attracts those interested in civic responsibility, public issues, open political debate, and networking opportunities. Founded in 1903, it is the longest-running civic forum in Chicago.

WTTW’s flagship nightly newsmagazine CHICAGO TONIGHT celebrated 30 years on the air in April 2014.  Airing weeknights at 7:00 pm and online at, the award-winning series hosted by Phil Ponce covers Chicago stories in politics, arts, science and technology, health, business, architecture, education, history, and more. Its robust website includes original reporting, extensive video, a comprehensive archive of Chicago stories and other special features. Audiences can connect with CHICAGO TONIGHT on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

About WTTW
WTTW is a premier public media organization committed to creating and presenting unique television and digital media content across four distinct television channels – WTTW11, WTTW Prime, the Spanish-language channel WTTW Vme, and WTTW Create/WTTW WORLD, and on Recognized for award-winning local and national productions such as CHICAGO TONIGHT, CHECK, PLEASE!, and MEXICO – ONE PLATE AT A TIME, WTTW presents the very best in public affairs, arts and culture, nature and science, history and documentary, and children’s programming to 2 million weekly viewers across a four state area. Visitors to can connect with others in the community and access a full library of local and national video content for kids and adults, interactive features, event and membership opportunities, and robust microsites dedicated to WTTW and PBS series and specials.  Connect with WTTW on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube