U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona (photo right), and Democrat challenger Cheri Bustos, East Moline, have agreed to a live debate at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 11 on WQAD News 8.
The half-hour debate is co-hosted by The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus and also will be streamed live on Quad-Cities Online and WQAD.com. WQAD News 8 anchor Jim Mertens will serve as moderator.
Terry Schilling, Rep. Schilling's campaign manager, and Allison Jaslow, Ms. Bustos' campaign manager, agreed to the terms of the debate this morning at a meeting with representatives of WQAD and The Dispatch-Argus. Prior to today's meeting neither of the 17th Congressional District candidates had agreed to participate in a debate with the other.
The uninterrupted debate will allow each candidate one minute to respond to each question, with rebuttal time to follow. Questions will be determined by WQAD and The Dispatch-Argus with input from the public. Rep. Schilling and Ms. Bustos also will be allowed a 90-second closing statement.
A cross-section community audience of about 30 people will be chosen by the media outlets to attend the debate in the studio.