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CARBONDALE — Residents of Illinois’ 12th U.S. Congressional District will have two opportunities to hear directly from their three candidates before the upcoming election.

The Southern, along with WSIU and The Belleville News Democrat are playing host to two debates to be held prior to November’s general election. Democrat Brendan Kelly, Green Party candidate Randy Auxier and incumbent, Republican Mike Bost will meet first at Lindenwood University in Belleville 7 p.m. Oct. 16.

Tickets for this first debate will be available with a limit of two per person. Contact each institution for further information.

Their second group outing will come at a closed-set debate at SIU starting at 7 p.m. Oct. 23. This debate will be broadcast live on WSIU.

Each news organization will have a representative to ask candidates questions at each debate.

To submit questions to possibly be asked during the debates, email them to

There are myriad issues facing the region now that each candidate will have to address — public housing conditions in rural communities are suffering, the region’s industry is in need of revitalizing, healthcare is still not reaching all in the region, and opioids are ravaging families throughout Southern Illinois. Bost, Kelly and Auxier will all have opportunities to explain why their approach is the best.

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On Twitter: @ismithreports



Isaac Smith is a reporter covering Jackson County.

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