CHICAGO, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Rahm Emanuel is skipping forums where Chicago mayoral candidates face voters directly, his campaign confirms.
On at least three nights next week, all of the other major candidates plan to appear at community forums and take questions from voters or panelists, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
But the former White House chief of staff won't be there.
"I don't think he'll do any of them," Emanuel spokesman Ben Labolt said of next week's events. "He's been speaking to voters directly where they live and work every day of the week."
Candidate Gery Chico has called for 10 debates, but Emanuel has only committed to one and is negotiating to participate in two others, Labolt said.
It has been more than 20 years since Chicago voters have seen a major candidate for mayor in a debate.
A recent poll indicated Emanuel is backed by 39 percent of likely voters, with former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun second at 12 percent. Chico, state Sen. James Meeks, Rep. Danny Davis and City Clerk Miguel Del Valle were far behind.