17th Congressional District Democratic Forum Held in Rockford

By: Stephen Johnson
By: Stephen Johnson

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- For the first time in their race for the Democratic nomination, three candidates for the 17th Congressional District seat...met with the Rockford public, finding out what was most important to them in the upcoming elections.

Jobs, energy sources and education were the hot topics debated among the three candidates, Freeport mayor George Gaulrapp, East Moline alderman Cheri Bustos and state senator David Koehler.

Residents had the opportunity to personally meet each democrat before and after the event, finding out what sets each one apart from their competition in the race.

"Communication, a person that's easily accessible, that draws people in and listens to people. I've been in sales 25 years and the most important thing isn't talking, it's listening", says Gaulrapp on what sets him apart from the competition.

Bustos says, "I’ve worked in the private sector my entire life, I've been a journalist for 17 years, for the last 10 years i worked in health care. I think that's a great background to have going into congress."

"Experience. I've had experience in local politics. Six years on a county board, 8 years on a city council. I've had experience now having been in the state legislature for five years", says Koehler

The winner of the Democratic primary will face Republican incumbent Bobby Schilling next November.

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  • by Duane Location: Freeport on Nov 15, 2011 at 04:41 AM
    Mayor Gaulrapp says that listening is one of his strong points. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many people have tried to talk to him and tell him that a lot of things he does will just not work. But does he listen? Absolutely not. He instead chooses to take the continuing path to destruction for Freeport. It is his belief that he is always right, and that all others are wrong. He can't even admit that he is wrong when he is proven wrong with documentation to back it up. His big ego is writing checks that the tax payers of Freeport can't cash. When he is confronted with something that he has done wrong, he can not, and will not admit that he is wrong, and those listening skills of his go right out the window. The only way that he will listen is if you tell him that his way is the right way. His way has never been the right way, and never will be, and it has been proven time and time again. Time for you to do the right thing and leave office Mr. Gaulrapp.
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