WATCH LIVE: NBC 5 Candidate Forum

Rahm Emanuel and Jesus Chuy Garcia will square off in the first televised forum of the runoff election. 

Polling shows the men in a tight race and each will need to use their face to face opportunity to define his campaign and his agenda. 

Moderator Carol Marin, a veteran political journalist, will keep the conversation moving and the topics salient -- no talking points from these two combatants. 

The forum, scheduled live for Monday, March 16 on NBC5, and Telemundo Chicago is co-sponsored by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics and Harris School of Public Policy.

Both candidates, Rahm Emanuel and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, will participate in the 60-minute forum, which will be broadcast live from NBC Tower at 6:00 p.m. on NBC 5 (WMAQ-TV) and in Spanish on Telemundo Chicago (WSNS-TV). The event will stream live on and include an additional 30-minute round table analysis at its conclusion.

“As a program committed to inspiring leadership and civic participation, we are thrilled to cosponsorthis debate. Every Chicagoan deserves the opportunity to see the candidates side-byside,answering the many important questions about our city’s future,” said David Axelrod, theInstitute’s director.

“We are honored to provide the candidates this forum for debate,” said Daniel Diermeier, dean of Chicago Harris. “Our School is committed to teaching its students the importance of open dialogue, the free exchange of ideas, and evidence-based arguments. We look forward to a rigorous, informed discussion at Monday’s forum.”

The event will feature a moderated roundtable-conversation format in which candidates will respond to questions posed by award-winning broadcast journalist and NBC 5 Political Editor Carol Marin. NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern and Telemundo Chicago’s Alba Mendiola will take questions from the live audience.

“NBC 5 News is committed to providing the best political coverage in town so we are proud to broadcast this forum live to our viewers on-air and on-line. We hope to provide voters with the information they need on the topics that they care about so they make an informed choice on Election Day,” said NBC 5 President and General Manager David Doebler.

“We are very excited to offer a live Mayoral forum to be simulcast in two languages. This is a unique opportunity for the viewers of Chicago to hear candidates discuss the issues important to them with the election only a few weeks away,” said Telemundo Chicago President and General Manager Chris McDonnell.

Organizers from UChicago and NBC 5 will consider questions submitted in advance of the forum via social media at @nbcchicago on Twitter and NBC Chicago’s Facebook page. Select social media users’ questions will be chosen for inclusion in the live debate.

The forum will be open to all members of the press. NBC 5 will provide a room for post-forum media availabilities following the conclusion of the event at 7:00 p.m. To register for media access, please contact

About the Harris School of Public Policy

The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy sets the standard for effective public policy leadership. We evaluate policy options based on evidence first, then consider implementation. No other school shares our commitment to shaping policy in this way.

About the Institute of Politics

The Institute of Politics is a nonpartisan extracurricular program designed to ignite in University of Chicago students a passion for politics and public service. Three programs form the core of the initiative: a visiting fellows program where political officials, policymakers, journalists and others involved in politics and policy share their experiences with students and others over an academic quarter; an expanded set of policy and public interest internships and civic engagement projects; and a continuous series of public speakers discussing current events and political life. Since its launch in January 2013 the Institute has presented over 500 guest speakers, hosted 37 Fellows and over 200 Fellows seminars, and placed over 500 students in internships around the world.

About NBC 5 Chicago/WMAQ

NBC 5 Chicago (WMAQ) is the owned NBC station in Chicago. On October 8, 1948, the station, then called WNBQ-TV, transmitted its first telecast from the Merchandise Mart—the third game of the Indians-Braves World Series in Cleveland, Ohio. The station’s current call letters, WMAQ-TV, were established in 1964. During NBC5 Chicago’s rich history, the station pioneered a number of television “firsts.” On April 15, 1956, NBC 5 became the world’s first all-color station. In September of 1986, NBC 5 became the first Chicago commercial station to broadcast in stereo. In 1989, NBC 5 was the first Chicago station to present closed captioning of all local newscasts. Currently, NBC 5 airs over 30 hours of local news per week in HD on its core channel. Viewers can also follow NBC 5 on and the NBC 5 mobile app for the latest news, weather and streamed original content.

About Telemundo Chicago/WSNS

Telemundo Chicago (WSNS) is part of the Telemundo Station Group which is comprised of 17 local television stations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, it is also part of the NBC Universal Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal. Telemundo Chicago Produces award-winning news broadcasts twice a day (Monday through Friday) featuring local news, lifestyle, weather, sports and entertainment programming. Additionally it broadcasts a weekly local entertainment (Acceso Total) show and a monthly public affairs show (Enfoque). Telemundo Chicago serves Spanish-speaking viewers in the metropolitan areas of Chicago and Northwest Indiana. In addition, Telemundo Chicago manages a dedicated local website and application, as well as a robust digital out-of-home operation. For more information visit Contact: Sarah Galer, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, 773-702-3935.

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