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Busy schedule for candidates as election nears

Candidate forums, appearances and debates are bunching up with campaigns in the homestretch for the Nov. 6 election.

Consider the various events scheduled just for today:

•Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg will appear at a forum sponsored by IPFW University Democrats beginning at 3:30 p.m. at Walb Student Union rooms 222-226.

•Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, will tour the Steel Dynamics Inc. plant in Whitley County and have a news conference at 5:15 p.m.

•IPFW and four Hispanic organizations will have a public candidates forum from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Walb Student Union Ballroom. Stutzman’s election opponent, Democrat Kevin Boyd, plans to be there, as do at least 11 candidates for the Indiana legislature and Allen County government offices.

•The three Hoosiers running for U.S. Senate – Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-2nd; Libertarian Andrew Horning; and Republican state Treasurer Richard Mourdock – will debate from 7 to 8 p.m. at Indianapolis TV station WFYI. Fort Wayne station WANE-TV will carry the broadcast.

Today kicks off a busy week for candidates.

Gubernatorial candidates Gregg, Libertarian Rupert Boneham and Rep. Mike Pence, R-6th, will debate at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in South Bend.

It will be the second of three debates, with the last scheduled for Oct. 25 at WFWA PBS 39 in Fort Wayne.

Boyd and Stutzman will have their only debate at 7 p.m. Friday at IPFW’s Rhinehart Music Center.

Polls indicate Donnelly and Mourdock are in a tight race to succeed six-term Sen. Richard Lugar, whom Mourdock defeated in the Republican primary election. They will debate Oct. 23 in New Albany in addition to their match tonight.

“We anticipate a spirited debate between two candidates who couldn’t be more different: Joe Donnelly, who wants more bipartisanship to move our country forward, and Richard Mourdock, who wants to inflict his ‘my way or the highway’ opinion on others,” Elizabeth Shappell, communications director for Donnelly’s campaign, said in an email.

Brose McVey, deputy campaign manager for Mourdock, said in a phone interview that Mourdock “will be setting the record straight on a lot of distortions” from Donnelly’s camp and show that Donnelly has been “a solid vote” for President Obama in various areas.

“Congressman Donnelly is running as a Republican, and I think we will make clear we already have one in the race,” McVey said.

Shappell said Mourdock showed in his April debate with Lugar “that he is a skilled debater, so we anticipate he will come very prepared and will try to attack Joe from the outset.”

Mourdock has been reviewing Donnelly’s voting record, McVey said, but “is always up on the issues. He’s been immersed in this campaign for 18 months.”