CHICAGO (CBS) — A suburban congressional race is in the national spotlight as one that could predict the future of the U.S. House.
Thursday night, two 6th district candidates met for a debate, well outside the district boundaries.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports congressional debates do not typically draw protestors, but this midterm cycle, the heated 6th district race is doing just that.
Supporters for Republican Incumbent Peter Roskam shared a sidewalk and an invisible dividing line with Roskam critics.
“Hey, hey, ho, ho, Peter Roskam’s got to go,” protestors chanted.
The Lincoln forum debate took place in the Loop Thursday night, about 20 miles outside the 6th District’s easternmost border.
“This is not surprising. Peter Roskam has enraged us. He refuses to listen to us. He hasn’t held a town hall in years,” said Florence Appel, a resident of the 6th congressional district.
“We should have a forum in the district. We should have it with open questions from the audience. We should have people free to attend,” said 6th congressional district candidate, Sean Casten (D).
Representative Roskam says that may be in the works, explaining his dirth of district town halls are to keep protestors out and real dialogue in.
“My point is, we don’t need vitriol,” he said.
“I think it becomes a shouting match. People come in distraught. Disruption’s a big thing,” said 6th congressional district resident, Dennis Wagner.
The race is not just about logistics and accessibility; it’s also about Roskam’s backing of many of President Donald Trump’s policies in a district that voted for Hillary Clinton.
“When the Administration is doing things that are in sync with the 6th district and are in our interest, work with them. When they are out of synct and not good for the district, oppose them,” stated U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R – 6th District).
As for the issues, both candidates followed party platform lines, for the most part. In addition to being in the national spotlight, political watchdogs say it is also expected to be a very expensive race, as well.