ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) – The Rock Island County Republican Party announced Friday that it is withdrawing its candidates from forums hosted by the Black and Brown Coalition.
Rock Island County Republican Chairman Bill Bloom says that during the planning of the political forum, a Republican representative was asked to leave, and was told the planning needed to be a “safe zone,” though a Democratic representative was allowed to stay. Bloom also says there were other issues, including unanswered questions about the format and the exclusion of several races.
“First off, we weren’t quite sure if it was a level playing field. You almost never get a completely level playing field, we weren’t sure what the slope of this field was at all. It also seemed that things were a little bit slap-dashed, a little disorganized with how it was coming together. And I know they’ve been trying to put it together in a very short period of time, but, but, there was just too many unknowns, too many variables and too many things that couldn’t be explained, uh for us to retain our position in the forum,” Bloom said.
KWQC received a response from the Black and Brown Coalition. The statement reads:
To date, there have been no concerns or questions raised by any representatives of the campaigns that have not been clearly and properly addressed. Also, no concerns posited by the leaders of either of rock island county’s two major political parties went unaddressed.
Leaders of the coalition added that their efforts were to create political empowerment of the black and brown communities in the Quad Cities.
The group planned to bring together LULAC, the NAACP and other organizations to hold forums and educate the community on candidates running for office.