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.