The League of Women Voters of the La Grange Area held a candidate forum for the 3rd Congressional District Democratic Primary on Feb. 20, but only two of the invited candidates participated. 

We are disappointed that our efforts to educate voters about all candidates running in the Democratic primary was undermined by two of the candidates, incumbent Dan Lipinski and challenger Marie Newman, who declined to participate. 

In 2018, a League-run forum in which Lipinski and Newman participated was attended by hundreds of people, watched online by thousands more, and served as an important source of unbiased information. 

This year, Lipinski never agreed to participate, citing scheduling conflicts, and Newman withdrew her signed agreement upon learning that Lipinski would not attend. The two remaining candidates, Rush Darwish and Charles Hughes, participated in the forum and answered questions submitted by audience members.

The League of Women Voters has a long record of organizing fair and impartial candidate forums to educate voters and encourage active participation in elections. The League has found that voters find value in attending a live event in their district where they have a chance to submit questions. 

Furthermore, the League’s candidate forums are videotaped from beginning to end with no edits and are made available for all to view. Thursday’s forum can be viewed on our Facebook page at: facebook.com/TheLeagueofWomenVotersoftheLaGrangeArea

The 3rd Congressional District Democratic Primary has generated great interest in the district as well as nationwide and is being closely watched. We regret that the LWV forum didn’t include all four candidates and feel that denying voters this chance to hear from all the candidates contributes to cynicism about the democratic process. 

Ann Lee and Laurie Braun, co-presidents

League of Women Voters of the La Grange Area