The nonpartisan Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization ("IVI-IPO")'s Far North chapter will hold an endorsement session tonight at the Wilmette Library, 1242 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette, offering residents an opportunity to compare multiple candidates up for election on Nov. 4. At 7 pm, the group will consider the contested race for 17th Dist. State Representative between incumbent Republican Elizabeth Coulson and Democratic challenger Daniel Biss. At 7:30, the 9th Dist. State Senate race
between incumbent Democrat Jeffrey Schoenberg and Republican challenger Brendan Appel will be taken up. At 8:00, the 10th District foes for Congress, incumbent Republican Mark Kirk and Democratic challenger Dan Seals, will present their cases.
All of Evanston is within the 9th State Senate district, and those neighborhoods of Evanston west of Ewing are within the 17th representative district. None of Evanston is in the 10th Congressional, but the Seals-Kirk race is being closely watched nationally as a potential swing district. Similarly, the Biss-Coulson race is garnering attention, as Coulson has thus far managed to retain her seat despite the district tending more and more Democratic (Kerry-Edwards won it in 2004).
The IVI-IPO sessions are not debates, but typically consist of presentations from candidates, who have completed exhaustive questionnaires, and often (tho not always) the candidates attend personally to make their pitch, with opportunity for questions by the group. The endorsement sessions are open to the public, altho only district IVI-IPO members can vote.