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Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot released the following statement after learning that Chicago mayoral candidate Toni Preckwinkle has declined to face Lightfoot in two upcoming debates. Preckwinkle refused to confirm her participation at a March 8th Chicago Sun-Times debate and requested to appear in a separate panel rather than face Lightfoot directly at a March 13th forum on public safety hosted by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.

“I’m disappointed that Toni Preckwinkle has declined opportunities to engage directly on issues of great importance to our city. It’s insulting to voters and reflective of the closed-door style of politics we’ve got to leave behind us. In this movement-versus-machine election, we’re focused on sharing our new, progressive vision with voters across the city and engaging in substantive debates about the issues that matter most. I hope Toni Preckwinkle reconsiders so we can have the debates Chicago voters deserve.”