Last updated: February 17. 2013 5:29AM - 100 Views

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WILKES-BARRE – The Times Leader and Wilkes University will host forums for the U.S. congressional candidates running for election in November to serve the people of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Hazleton, and Gene Stilp, candidates in the 11th Congressional District, will take part in a forum at 7 p.m. on Oct. 8.

A forum for Matt Cartwright and Laureen Cummings, candidates in the 17th Congressional District, will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 10.

The forums will be open to the public and will be held at Wilkes University in Room 101 of the Stark Learning Center, 150-180 S. River St., Wilkes-Barre. Seating in the auditorium-style room will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Free parking will be available in the Wilkes lot behind the Henry Student Center, located at 84 W. South St.

Both forums can be viewed live on WYLN-TV Channel 7. Rebroadcast times and dates will be announced.

Times Leader Editorial Page Editor Mark Jones will moderate the forums.

Barletta is a former three-term mayor of Hazleton rounding out his first two-year term in Congress after ousting 13-term incumbent Democrat Paul Kanjorski in 2010. As mayor, he garnered national attention for his attempted crackdown on illegal immigrants living and working in his city.

A Wilkes-Barre native living in Middle Paxton Township, Dauphin County, Democrat Stilp is an attorney well known for his activist role in state matters and for using huge inflatable pigs and a pig-themed bus to draw attention to fraud, waste and corruption in state government.

Both candidates in the 17th District have considerably less name recognition.

Cartwright, an attorney from Moosic, defeated 20-year Democrat incumbent Tim Holden in the May primary. He backs President Barack Obama on many issues, including the Affordable Care Act, although he doesn't think it went far enough and said he will work to strengthen it.

One of the founders of the Scranton Tea Party, Cummings, of Old Forge, believes ObamaCare should be repealed and the tax code reformed. The owner of a private duty nursing and staffing agency, she's also running on a platform against high taxes and for creating more jobs.

The public is invited to attend the forums to hear the candidates address specific issues affecting the people of Northeastern Pennsylvania.


What: Candidate forums.

When: 7 p.m. Oct. 8 to hear 11th Congressional District candidates Lou Barletta and Gene Stilp; 7 p.m. Oct. 10 to hear 17th Congressional District candidates Matt Cartwright and Laureen Cummings.

Where: Room 101 of the Stark Learning Center at Wilkes University, 150-180 S. River St., Wilkes-Barre.

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