WILL Pressroom

Illinois Public Media co-hosts live debate for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District

picture of Regan Deering and Nikki Budzinski with text Illinois 13th Congressional District Debate October 6 at 7 pm including logos for WILL-TV, Facebook, Illinois Public Media, League of Women Voters, WAND News

Illinois Public Media, WAND News, and the League of Women Voters of Champaign County are hosting an Illinois 13th Congressional District debate between Republican candidate Regan Deering and Democratic candidate Nikki Budzinski on Thursday, October 6 in the WILL-TV studios, located in Urbana, Illinois.

"In a growing news desert like Central Illinois, it’s harder to know where candidates stand on the issues. This debate will be a valuable opportunity for the voters to learn where the candidates will stand on issues like abortion rights, inflation, agricultural, climate change, and more," said Reginald Hardwick, news and public affairs director at Illinois Public Media and one of the producers of the debates.

Deering is a Decatur native with experience as an educator and small business owner, and Budzinski is a Peoria native who served as an advisor on labor issues for Governor JB Pritzker.

"WAND News is thrilled to be a part of this 13th Congressional District debate. We look forward to getting our viewers questions answered before they head to the polls," said Jacklynn Sylvester, director of news at WAND News.

The debate will be moderated by Illinois Public Media journalist Tinisha Spain and feature questions from a panel of local journalists, including Brian Mackey, host of The 21st talk show out of Urbana; Doug Wolfe, political reporter for WAND News in Decatur; and Mark Maxwell, political reporter at KSDK-TV in St. Louis. Together, these questions will give people a chance to hear these two candidates discuss the issues affecting those throughout the district, which stretches from Champaign-Urbana west to the Mississippi River and to the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis.

“The League of Women Voters of Champaign County is proud to continue its tradition of promoting candidate debates,” said Trisha Crowley, president of the League of Women Voters of Champaign County.

The debate will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 6 and will be broadcast live from the WILL studios, airing on WILL-TV and simulcasting on radio on WILL-AM 580 and -FM 90.9. The debate will also air on WSIU-TV and WSUI-FM out of Carbondale; the 9 Network, KSDK (online only), and STLPR NPR out of St. Louis; WAND out of Decatur; and NPR Illinois out of Springfield. The public is welcome to interact with the debate in real-time via Illinois Public Media’s Facebook and YouTube pages and are encouraged to share their thoughts across all social media platforms using #IL13.