Republican Jeanne Ives ‘Debates’ Alone in Illinois After Democrat Sean Castens Backs Out

The ad prompted voters to call Jeanne Ives (pictured) to tell her that “her conservative policies are just too conservative for Illinois." | Rich Hein/Sun Times via AP Photo
Rich Hein/Sun Times via AP Photo

Republican challenger Jeanne Ives appeared alone on a local televised “debate” in Chicago on Tuesday evening after her opponent, Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL), pulled out of the event.

Casten represents the 6th congressional district, in the western suburbs of Chicago, where he has faced criticism from constituents after backing the impeachment of President Donald Trump last year.

Ives and Casten have debated before, and were to have met again on the televised forum, hosted by local public station WTTW.

However, Casten dropped out, as the Daily Herald reported:

Casten, a freshman lawmaker from Downers Grove, was invited to participate but won’t because of a schedule conflict, said his campaign spokesman, Jacob Vurpillat.

Ives spokeswoman Kathleen Murphy said Ives booked the event in September and learned of Casten’s decision not to attend last week.

In subsequent social media posts and in an email to supporters, Ives accused Casten of dropping out of the debate and ridiculed him for the anticipated no-show.

In the forum, Ives fielded questions about the coronavirus pandemic, including the opening of schools, the use of masks, and a possible additional federal stimulus.

She was also asked about Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court and whether the Court should reverse gay marriage. And she was presented with an attack ad from Casten in which Ives was attacked by an establishment Republican for stating that children are not susceptible to the coronavirus.

Ives, a leading conservative in Illinois, is a U.S. Army veteran and former state legislator who nearly defeated then-incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner in the Republican primary in 2018.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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