Former Madison County chief judge Ann Callis is facing a particle physicist and a policy analyst in the race for the Democratic nomination for representative from the 13th Illinois Congressional District.
Candidate George Gollin is a particle physicist and professor; Candidate David Green is a resource and policy analyst at the Center for Prevention, Research and Development, a division of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. Both Gollin and Green are employed at the University of Illinois.
The district includes parts of Madison County, including much of Collinsville, Edwardsville, part of Godfrey, Foster, and Moro Townships. Also included are Telegraph area counties of Calhoun, Greene, Jersey and Macoupin.
The three candidates appeared at a forum Thursday night, sponsored by the Edwardsville League of Women Voters and the NAACP. It was held at the Edwardsville Public Library.
Callis pointed out her experience in getting things done in the Third Judicial Circuit including her part in establishing a Veterans Court, Foreclosure Mediation Program and several other mediation and arbitration programs, designed to increase the efficiency of the court system.
She was appointed an associate judge in 1995 and was appointed as a circuit judge in 1999. She was then elected circuit judge in 2000 and was retained by the voters in 2006 and 2012.
Gollin said he has been a professor at University of Illinois for 25 years.
“Our government is broken,” he said.
He said he favors full employment, affordable medical care, reproductive rights and steps to address climate change.
Green acknowledged being the candidate farthest to the left.
“I am running to challenge the Democratic power brokers,” he said.
He has a doctorate in education philosophy. He said he would end wars, demolish foreign military bases and find jobs for everyone.
“We must end the racist war on drugs,” he said. He said he also favors free day care and pre-school for everyone.
Callis said that as a judge, she worked to ensure justice and fairness, and she would work for those same values in Congress.
“I have a prior record of reaching across the aisle. I think I know a little bit about justice and fairness,” she said.
Problems such as sequestration, government shutdown, opposition to the minimum wage and lower pay for women do not reflect the justice and fairness. She said that as she spoke to people across the district, she detected anger about gridlock but a lot of hope for decent schools, decent health care job apprenticeship programs and so forth.
Gollin agreed with Callis about the need for affordable health care.
“Access to medical care is a basic human right,” he said.
He also decried government gridlock, caused by an excess of special legislative initiatives. He said that, although he has never held public office, as a scientist and educator he has experience in “fixing things.”
Green’s motto is “A ‘new’ deal: full employment, economic justice and social progress.” He claims the the party has forgotten the people that formerly made up its base: union members, minorities, the poor and women. He said there is a drastic concentration of wealth at the top 1 percent of the economic ladder.
Callis said a deciding factor in her decision to run was the fact that her son, Elliott Corey, joined the U.S. Army shortly after graduating from Cornell University. She said she worried about business interests who have labeled Madison County as a “judicial hell hole.”
“I worried about my record being twisted and trashed, but when I saw that he (Elliott) wasn’t afraid to serve his country, I wasn’t afraid,” she said.