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A Des Moines Statehouse candidate got a big boost to his campaign Monday.

Tony Bisignano announced he won the endorsement of the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor.

The AFL-CIO met over the weekend and unanimously decided to endorse his campaign before the June 3rd primary.

Meanwhile, one of his challengers, Ned Chiodo, is making a splash with his newest campaign tactic.

Some fliers started showing up in voters’ mailboxes this week showing Bisignano’s mug shot and listing the crimes he’s been convicted of, including drunk driving and public intoxication.

The District 17 candidates are supposed to debate Tuesday night, but Chiodo says he can’t be there.

So Bisignano and another Democrat, Nathan Blake, will face off in the race for Jack Hatch’s seat.

Below is info about the Tuesday District 17 debate:

Residents will be able to meet and learn about two of the Democratic candidates who are running in the June 3 primary for Iowa Senate District 17 at a special candidate forum on Tuesday, May 6.

The candidates are Tony Bisignano and Nathan Blake. A third candidate, Ned Chiodo, declined to participate because of a scheduling conflict. Senate District 17 covers the southeastern section of Des Moines. Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines, is not seeking re-election because he is running for governor.

The forum will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church, 1800 Bell Ave., in Des Moines. Sonia Parras Konrad, an immigration attorney and co-executive director of ASISTA Immigrant Assistance, will serve as the moderator.

Candidates will give opening remarks and then be asked a series of questions by a panel about issues that range from wages and driver’s licenses for immigrants to expansion of English Language Learner services, the lack of minority teachers in Des Moines Public Schools and in-state college and university tuition for all students who attend Iowa high schools regardless of citizenship status.

Audience members will then have an opportunity to submit their questions for the candidates.

The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa and the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund are sponsoring the forum.

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