CJ BaricevicMike BostTerri BryantTiffany BusbyTyler EdmondsGary ForbyDale FosterStevie GuinedMarsha GriffinPhil HilemanCary Quick

Candidate Profiles

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Today, The Gazette-Democrat shares profiles about candidates who are running for office in Union County, as well as state and Congressional legislative races. The profiles are based on responses to questionnaires which were mailed to candidates in early October. 

CJ Baricevic

Name: CJ Baricevic 

Home address: Belleville

Occupation: Attorney 

Office you are seeking: U.S. Representative 

Party affiliation: Democrat 

Are you an incumbent? No.

If yes, how long have you served in office? N/A

What do you think are the most important issues in this election? The most important issues in this election are the ones impacting working families. 

We need to get Americans back to work. We need to strengthen American manufacturing, and punish companies for shipping jobs overseas and taking the tax breaks associated with them. 

Energy independence is another top issue in this election. I believe we have a commitment to folks who have lost their jobs in the coal industry.

I want to invest resources in our education and push for reforms to make college accessible to middle-class families. 

I will also fight to protect Social Security and Medicare for future generations. We also need to address organized labor; this country was the strongest when organized labor was the backbone of our economy. We must stand strong with our unions.

What are your goals, if you are elected? I am running for Congress to ensure that the 12th District, my home district, remains a great place to raise a family, work and live. 

The hardworking people of my district deserve a fresh new voice in Congress committed to getting things done to improve their lives.

My priorities for Illinois and the nation will be driven by our region’s top industries, including coal, steel and agriculture. 

Additionally, I will support tax policies to keep manufacturing jobs in our state and strengthen our manufacturing base. 

I will prioritize investments in our infrastructure, as it is an economic engine for our district and our nation. 

We must also invest in trade schools and higher education. We must protect Social Security and Medicare; seniors have earned these benefits.

Mike Bost

Name: Mike Bost

Home address: Murphysboro

Office you are seeking: U.S. Congress, Illinois, 12th District

Party affiliation: Republican

Are you an incumbent? Yes.

How long have you served in office? I am currently serving my first two-year term in Congress.

If you are an incumbent, please share what you see as your most significant accomplishment, or accomplishments, while serving in office? At a time when partisanship in Washington is at an all-time high, I am proud that I’ve been able to cut through the bickering and get things done. 

In fact, the House has passed five pieces of legislation I introduced, all of which were aimed at helping Southern Illinois.  

Most notably, the House approved my legislation to improve our nation’s trade remedy laws, leading to substantial import tariffs on unfairly traded foreign steel that has harmed employees at Granite City Works and other steel plants across America.  

The House also passed an amendment I introduced to expand criteria the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can use to initiate repairs of levees, including the Len Small levee in Alexander County. 

What do you think are the most important issues in this election? Jobs and national security. There are too many Southern Illinoisans who remain unemployed or underemployed, and we’ll never get back on track by doubling down on the Obama administration’s failed policies of exploding debt, higher taxes on working families and more crushing regulations job creators.  

I have worked hard to reduce spending, lower taxes, and empowering our small businesses to do what they do best.  

As for national security, I opposed opening our borders to poorly screened Syrian refugees, stood against the Iran nuclear deal and have worked to fully fund our troops and our military mission at Scott Air Force Base. 

What are your goals, if you are elected? If I am blessed to continue serving my community in Congress, I will look to build upon the successes we’ve had together.  

But much work remains. I’m running for re-election to bring Southern Illinois’ values to Washington, not the other way around.  

At the end of the day, it’s about the future we leave our children and grandchildren.  I’m willing to work with anyone on solutions to the challenges facing our nation.  

I don’t care if it’s a Republican’s idea or a Democrat’s idea, I only care that it’s a good idea for Southern Illinois and the people I represent.

Paula Bradshaw

Name: Paula Bradshaw.

Home address: Carbondale

Occupation: Retired registered nurse

Office you are seeking: Congress, 12th District

Party affiliation: Green Party

Are you an incumbent? No.

If you are not an incumbent, have you ever sought, or served, in public office? If so, what office did you seek? Were you elected? How long did you serve? This is my third try for Congress.

If you are an incumbent, please share what you see as your most significant accomplishment, or accomplishments, while serving in office? N/A.

What do you think are the most important issues in this election? Unemployment and mass poverty, war and environmental destruction.

What are your goals, if you are elected? To pass Green New Deal legislation, which would put millions of Americans to work at living wages, rebuilding our infrastructure with renewable energy and sustainable transportation. Also increasing access to health, education and recreation for our people, especially our children.

Terri Bryant

Name: Terri Bryant

Home address: Murphysboro

Occupation: State Representative, retired public service administrator in the Department of Corrections

Office you are seeking: 115th District State Representative

Party affiliation: Republican

Are you an incumbent? Yes. I was first sworn in last January 2015. I am a first term legislator.

If you are an incumbent, please share what you see as your most significant accomplishment, or accomplishments, while serving in office.  

As a freshman State Representative, I authored 6 bills that became law. That is more than any other freshman legislator in this term. 

My legislative success is built on the fact that most of the bills that I’ve sponsored have been directly driven by the needs of my constituents. 

I passed Molly’s Law to help ensure that families that suffer tragic losses can have their day in court and also have access to the information necessary to know the truth. 

I passed a law to protect the Illinois jobs of National Guard members when they are called up to work in other states. 

I also passed two laws to provide incentives and assistance to Southern Illinois’ oil and natural gas companies.

I passed a law that changed the title transfer fee for widows and widowers from $95 to $15. That law helps ease a financial burden for senior citizens and others during financially and emotionally stressful times in their lives. 

These laws will have wide ranging positive impacts for thousands of Southern Illinoisans.

I am a wife, mother, grandmother and former small business owner. I served for 20 years as a public employee in the Department of Corrections. 

My service to the state is something I am very proud of. I have also been actively involved in my church for many years. 

I have volunteered on a Habitat house in Carbondale, my husband and I financially support Pregnancy Matters and “I Can Read.”

I’ve led two Missions trips to Mexico and participated in one to Thailand. I served as president of Christian Women’s Fellowship at First Christian Church in Murphysboro for four years. I am a Sunday school teacher there. I also regularly visit and offer support to the Carbondale Women’s Center. 

What do you think are the most important issues in this election? The biggest issues facing the State of Illinois are our budget deficit, our pension debt, and our failure to properly fund education, both Pre-K through 12th grade and at our universities. 

Illinois needs a combination of factors to change in order to grow our economy and change the direction of our state. 

The key to Illinois’ come back is to create jobs in massive numbers. We have to change our laws to make Illinois a friendlier place to do business. 

Workers’ compensation costs are far too high in Illinois. If our state was on par with neighboring states, businesses would choose Illinois because we have the best work force, railways, highways, waterways and airline infrastructure in the country right here.

We also need to change the balance of power in the legislature to really change this state. We can change Illinois’ political culture if the legislature would enact term limits for rank and file members and for members of legislative leadership.

What are your goals, if you are elected? As State Representative, I will continue to fight for full funding for our schools. Though the stopgap budget is not perfect, every school in the 115th District received the most money that they have in 7 years. SIU got $100 million because I joined with other Southern Illinois representatives and fought the Chicago politicians to get it.

My time in office has been spent listening to the concerns of my constituents and taking their concerns to Springfield to pass meaningful laws. I’ve been successful despite the toxic political environment. 

We must focus on making Illinois a better place to do business so that our well educated and hard working citizens can have economic opportunities that lead to better paying jobs.

Tiffany Busby

Name: Tiffany Busby

Home address: Jonesboro

Occupation: Deputy Circuit Clerk

Office you are seeking: Union County Circuit Clerk

Party affiliation: Democrat

Are you an incumbent? No.

Have you ever sought, or held public office? No 

After the announcement from Lorraine Moreland, present Circuit Clerk, regarding her retirement in November 2016, I decided to run to maintain the integrity and efficiency in the office.  

Having the endorsement of Lorraine Moreland, Union County Circuit Clerk, was also a major part of the decision.  

What are your goals if elected? I am Union County voters’ nominee for the Democrat party and will be on the ballot in the upcoming General Election as your Union County Circuit Clerk.  

My goal will be to maintain the integrity and respect in the office for the citizens of Union County.  

Due to the new Supreme Court Ruling of mandatory e-filing of all civil cases in January 2018, I will be working diligently to implement this into the office. I will be making provisions to assist the public with this endeavor.

I possess the knowledge and skills needed to run the Union County Circuit Clerk’s office efficiently and cooperatively, with honesty and integrity.  

I appreciate all of the support I have received since my announcement to seek election and would like to ask for the continued support. 

I currently work in the Circuit Clerk’s office and have attended many hours of Circuit Clerk training over the past six years and currently hold a degree in law enforcement.  

As a current employee, I have been trained in all civil, criminal, traffic, jury and financial components of the office.  

Previously, I worked at the Anna-Jonesboro National Bank and have experience with accounting and finances and also owned a local business, Bigfoots Sporting Goods. My husband and I currently own a barbeque business.  

I have great interest in Union County and the citizens of Union County.  I would like to see Union County prosper in business and in all aspects. 

Tyler R. Edmonds

Name: Tyler R. Edmonds

Home address: Anna

Occupation: Attorney

Office you are seeking:  Union County State’s Attorney

Party affiliation: Democratic

Are you an incumbent? Yes. I was elected in November 2008 and took office December 1, 2008.

If you are an incumbent, please share what you see as your most significant accomplishment, or accomplishments, while serving in office? Since 2008, the State’s Attorney office has made the prosecution of violent crime and repeat offenders a priority and we have seen significant increases in felony filings and prison sentences.  

We have reduced the backlog of open cases in the court system resulting in significant increases in felony dispositions.  

We have also worked to expand services to crime victims, and focus law-enforcement efforts on domestic violence, stalking, child abuse and methamphetamine addiction.

I have advocated for early-childhood education and juvenile justice reform. Investing in our at-risk youth means better lives for those kids and a safer community for all of us.  

I have led efforts to secure grant funding for the Redeploy Illinois program which focuses intensive probation services on juveniles at risk for incarceration.  

This program promotes public safety by steering kids away from a future of bad choices and crime and saves taxpayer money by reducing incarceration.  

Redeploy has seen great results in Union County and brought new services to our most troubled youth. 

I also chair the First Circuit Juvenile Justice Council and am a state co-chair of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids Illinois, a non-partisan coalition of prosecutors, police chiefs and sheriffs across Illinois which advocate for proven strategies to reduce crime including high-quality pre-school and the prevention of child abuse and neglect.   

I have also worked to promote transparency and openness in county government.  

Taxpayers are entitled to know how their money is spent and how their county government operates.  Union County government has gone from virtually no information available online, to now having as much information online as any government in Southern Illinois.  

Information is key to holding local government accountable and Union County citizens can now browse the county website for contracts, salaries, budgets, audits, ordinances and many other types of information about how their money is spent.

What do you think are the most important issues in this election? As a fifth generation Union County native, I care deeply about the future of our community.  

I want to continue, and build on, the progress we have made in the State’s Attorney’s office in promoting public safety and making county government work for all citizens.

What are your goals, if you are elected? My priority will continue to be the vigorous prosecution of violent and dangerous offenders.  

We will also continue working cooperatively and proactively with other agencies and elected officials to make the most of limited resources while providing the best possible services to the public.  

I will continue to oversee an independent and impartial State’s Attorney’s office.  

I will also continue to advocate for crime victims and to promote early childhood education and juvenile justice reform as long term public safety solutions.

As Union County State’s Attorney, I will continue working to keep our communities safe and do everything I can to make county government work for all citizens. It is truly an honor to serve the people of Union County.

Gary Forby

Name: Gary Forby

Home address: Benton

Occupation: Retired business owner; Forby Excavating

Office you are seeking: State Senate, 59th District

Party affiliation: Democrat

Are you an incumbent: Yes.

How long have you served in office: 2003 to current

Significant accomplishments: Helping to create and retain jobs have been a major priority of mine. 

In 2011, we began overhauling our state’s infrastructure system by passing the state’s first capital construction plan in over a decade. 

The capital bill is investing more than $31 billion to repair roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure improvements, creating or retaining nearly 440,000 jobs. 

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent locally through the program, including; $100 million to expand Illinois Route 13 between Marion and Carbondale, $60 million dollars for building repair and construction at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, $3 million to build an emergency access wing on the Cairo Megaclinic – restoring emergency room service to Alexander and Pulaski counties and more than $160 million to improve local roads, spread across 13 counties.

During my time serving you, I’ve worked to pass common-sense legislation to help our local industry. 

We passed a bipartisan measure to create the Illinois Coal Mining and Electric Generation Act to help finance a new coal burning electric generation power plant and to expand existing power plants that burn Illinois coal.  Also worked with area lawmakers to help secure $2.7 million in funds to construct the world-class Rend Lake College Coal Mining Training Center, equip it and provide training in its revitalized mining technology program. 

This past spring, I sponsored and passed legislation to align safety regulations to bring safer conditions to our coal mines and to help make Illinois a more competitive market for the coal industry, and a few months ago, I joined with area lawmakers on a comprehensive plan to help the industry move forward and incentivize Illinois power companies to burn more Illinois coal, increasing the production and demand for coal. 

Finally, we passed landmark legislation a few years ago to bring concealed carry to Illinois, allowing properly trained, law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons. 

What do you think are the most important issues in this election? The two most important issues are the current budget impasse and school funding reform. Those two issues impact every person in Southern Illinois. 

We must work in a bipartisan fashion to end the budget stalemate and pass a full-years budget that curbs wasteful spending while protecting our critical public services such as higher education, social services and our public infrastructure. 

The other issue we must address is our broken school funding system. We have major funding inequities in the state, which is the result of a funding system that relies too heavily on local property taxes and doesn’t prioritize how the funds are distributed.

Illinois ranks last in the state’s share of education funding – only 28 percent of every dollar spent on education comes from the state, with most coming from local property taxes. 

This has led to an over-reliance on local property taxes to fund our schools, creating wide gaps in the amount spent on education in areas of the state with high property values as compared to those with lower property values. 

Making the situation worse is the fact the state doesn’t distribute the funding based on need. The state continually sends resources to school districts that are sitting on millions in cash reserves while schools in our area continually get shortchanged. 

I’m dedicated to solving this problem with education advocates, teachers, parents, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and the governor. I’m hopeful that a bipartisan solution can be reached this next spring.

What are your goals, if you are elected? Creating jobs and promoting our regions assets – tourism, vast coal reserves and fantastic higher education system to name a few – has and will continue to be a top priority for me. Southern Illinois is a great place to live and raise a family. We need someone who will be a positive advocate for our region. 

We must address our broken school funding system. We have major funding inequities in the state, which is the result of a funding system that relies too heavily on local property taxes and doesn’t prioritize how the funds are distributed. I will continue working to ensure our schools receive their fair share. Our kids deserve the same quality education as kids in other parts of the state. 

Furthermore, I will continue to fight for funding for higher education. We have some of the best community colleges and one of the best public universities in the state. 

These universities bring jobs to the district, they attract students from all over the country and they help prepare our young people to enter the workforce. 

Too often our seniors, who are some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, get pushed to the wayside. That is unacceptable. 

I will continue to advocate for programs, like the Community Care Program, so seniors are provided the help and support so they can remain in the comfort of their homes.

Dale Foster

Name: Dale Foster.

Home address: Anna

Occupation: Retired chief of police, City of Anna

Office you are seeking: Union County Commissioner

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Are you an incumbent? No.

If yes, how long have you served in office? N/A.

If you are not an incumbent: have you ever sought, or served, in public office? If so, what office did you seek? Were you elected? How long did you serve? I was elected to serve on the Anna District No. 37 school board, serving 2006 to the present. 

In my 10 years as a school board member, I have served as president and currently hold the position of vice president. 

My service has included assuring students’ needs are met while being fiscally responsible.

If you are an incumbent, please share what you see as your most significant accomplishment, or accomplishments, while serving in office? N/A

What do you think are the most important issues in this election? We are living in unprecedented fiscal times in the State of Illinois. 

People I have met throughout the county have voiced concerns about the availability of jobs in the area, maintenance of county roads and services, and the financial stability of the county.

What are your goals, if you are elected? If I have the privilege to serve as Union County Commissioner, I will work to keep Union County fiscally stable, work to maintain and improve county services, look at possibilities of bringing new businesses to the area and assisting current businesses, and work to assure compliance with federal, state, and county regulating authorities.

I am committed to meeting challenges which may affect Union County and can be trusted to make responsible, informed decisions. 

I spent my law enforcement career protecting citizens and businesses in the City of Anna. I look forward to the opportunity to use my experience, skills, integrity, and good judgment to serve the residents of Union County.

Steven ‘Stevie’ Guined

Name: Steven “Stevie” Guined II

Home address: Anna

Occupation: Pastor

Office you are seeking: County Commissioner

Party affiliation: Republican

Are you an incumbent?  No.

Have you ever sought public office before? No. 

What are the most important issues in this election? A constrained fiscal environment continues to affect our county programs, services and residents. 

Fiscally constrained county government inhibits the capacity of the county to meet the basic social, physical and health needs of vulnerable community members, especially low income families and individuals. 

During 2016 I along with a ministry team from my church spent twenty-five Saturdays delivering food to families living in poverty. 

I am confident if we don’t work hard and work together in economic development this poverty issue in our county is going to increase. 

With increased poverty comes decreased opportunities for our residents. With decreased opportunities we can expect an increase in the drug epidemic our county is currently battling. 

I praise groups and organizations like “Shop Local” for the diligent, hard work they have poured into our community. 

We all have reaped the benefits of our hard work. It’s time our elected officials do the same. 

County officials are elected to protect the health and welfare of their constituents. There are many issues facing our county but jobs and economic development is the most crucial. 

To increase county revenue without raising property taxes it takes our commissioners working tirelessly to attract jobs. 

We must work hard to create the proper economic development infrastructure to our county government. Those types of investments will support a strong county economy. 

Innovative, tailored programs are essential for creating jobs, sustaining economic growth and improving our quality of life for all residents in every corner of our county. 

We must work hard to create pathways out of poverty and to care for our senior citizens. We must support and sufficiently fund our law enforcement departments, our first responder and emergency departments and increase communication between our county government and local governments. 

Along with job and economic development cutting property taxes is also a priority. I will not just prevent taxes from going up but I will fight to bring them down. 

At a time when families all across Union County are cutting back it’s time for county government to do the same. 

Through reform and hard work Union County can get back on the road to recovery and eliminate wasteful spending. I will work hard to right size government, keeping the taxpayers’ best interest in mind. 

There are four important elements that make up a strong community: strong families, strong churches, strong schools and strong-thriving businesses.

What are my goals if elected? Five years ago I moved back home to Union County from Alexandria, La., to fulfill a lifelong dream that was placed in my heart many years ago. 

That dream was to plant a nondenominational church in my hometown of Anna to serve the people of this great community with the gospel of Jesus. 

Through the ministry of Connect Point Church, we have knocked on countless doors, passing out food, praying with people and listening to the needs of the people of Union County. 

We have worked numerous times with places like Bethany Village, Union County Housing Authority, local food pantries and others to do our part to help meet the spiritual and social needs of the people here in Union County. 

Over the past five years of being among fellow community members, I have had the great privilege of listening to the people, I listened to retired folks tell me how they have worked hard their whole life to pay off the mortgage on their homes only to find out they cannot afford to pay rising property taxes. 

I have also listened to young people tell me how much they love this community but are fearful they can’t stay because of the lack of job opportunities. 

I have listened to local business owners describe the business climate in the state of Illinois and the frustrations and deep concerns they have. 

My personal experience of raising a family and pastoring a church here in Union County have motivated me to take the next step and seek public office as Union County’s commissioner. 

I believe it’s time for a new generation of leadership. Traditionally the average age of the people who have been elected county commissioner in the last several elections has been around 56 years of age. 

I feel we need at least one voice that can give a younger generation’s perspective on how to tackle our county’s needs. As a young man in my mid-thirties, I am eager to get to work to help make this county a better place for all. 

As your county commissioner, I will fight to bring more and better jobs to our county. I will fight for quality of life that is second to none in our state, a community where children go to great schools, teachers are appreciated and opportunities abound. 

I want to commend our current commissioners and county employees. They have started to get this county back on the right track and it’s important we keep it moving forward. We must work together. 

Marsha Griffin

Name: Marsha Griffin 

Home address: Jonesboro

Occupation: Teacher

Office you are seeking: State Representative in the 115th District 

Party affiliation: Democrat 

Are you an incumbent? No. 

If yes, how long have you served in office? Not applicable

If you are not an incumbent: have you ever sought, or served, in public office? If so, what office did you seek? Were you elected? How long did you serve? This is my first time seeking public office. I have been a 4th grade teacher in Jonesboro for the past 10 years. 

What do you think are the most important issues in this election? Passing a balanced state budget is the most important issue. The lack of a budget hurts families across Southern Illinois. 

It is also causing long term economic harm to our region. For example, SIU has its lowest enrollment since 1965. The university has used the recent half year budget to fund operations for last year. 

SIU and our community colleges are the economic engine for the region and must be funded. 

I am running because our current representative voted present or simply didn’t vote over 80 times on numerous funding bills for higher education, social services, K through 12 education and other important bills over the last two years. This is unacceptable.  

I believe that hyper partisanship is to blame for the current gridlock. I am running to work with all sides: Democrat, Republican and independent. We must work together and compromise and I intend to do that if elected. 

What are your goals, if you are elected? As a teacher, I see first-hand how our schools are shortchanged in Southern Illinois. 

I will work to create a more equitable school funding formula that benefits our students in Southern Illinois. 

We need to use a fairer way to determine school funding that will provide our students with the education they deserve. The schools in the Chicago suburbs shouldn’t get more because they live in a more affluent zip code. This needs to change. 

Passing a balanced budget is the number one priority for me. 

I support making millionaires and billionaires pay more to fund education. This is a way to fully fund education in this state without raising taxes on working families. 

Additionally, we need to go line-by-line through the state budget, cutting unnecessary and duplicative programs. 

We must take a balanced approach to budget making. The governor and some of the financial backers of my opponents campaign would like to tax pensions and Social Security benefits of seniors. I am against any tax on pensions or Social Security. 

Another area where I would like to focus is creating jobs in Southern Illinois. 

I have spoken to thousands of residents throughout my campaign and many of them talk about how difficult it is to start a small business. 

We have some of the highest small business start-up fees in the nation and I think that we need to take a look and lower those fees and streamline a person’s ability to start a small business.

Phil Hileman

Name: Phil Hileman    

Home address: Jonesboro

Occupation: Funeral director

Office you are seeking: Coroner

Party affiliation: Democrat

Incumbent: Yes.

Years in office: Four. I have served the citizens of Union County as their coroner in a professional manner. 

I make it a priority to work with all the local police departments and the Union County sheriff’s department. 

We all work closely with the Illinois State Police and any other state agency that may be involved with a death investigation. 

My only goal would be to continue to do the job I was elected to do four years ago and to hopefully find ways through further education to do it even better. I challenge myself to always look for ways to improve.

Cary Quick Jr.

Name: Cary R. Quick Jr.

Home address: Anna

Occupation: Residential Services Supervisor at Choate Developmental Center

Office you are seeking: Union County Commissioner Seat C

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Are you an incumbent? No.

If yes, how long have you served in office? N/A.

If you are not an incumbent, have you have ever sought or served in public office? If so, what office did you seek? Were you elected? How long did you serve? I have never sought or served in public, but did serve as union president at Choate for eight years and on the state executive board of AFSCME for the last eight years dealing with a contract covering 70,000 members and handling million dollar budgets. Both positions are elected by the members.

If you are an incumbent, please share what you see as your most significant accomplishment, or accomplishments, while serving in office? N/A.

What do you think are the most important issues in this election? I think a major issue is money and the responsibility that comes with dealing with taxpayers’ money. 

With it getting harder to live on a fixed income as a retiree, raise a family in a working-class household or being a successful business owner the last thing that is needed is for elected officials misspending money. 

The public has to be confident in elected officials and officials need to act in such a manner to avoid taxpayer distrust. 

Another issue is safety; with all the dangers we now face our citizens need to feel that Union County is a secure and safe place to live and raise their families.

What are your goals, if you are elected?: My primary goal is to bring together all decision making bodies in Union County to make the county run smoother, come up with creative cost-saving measures and make Union County the best possible place to live. 

Another goal would be to help Union County citizens play a larger role in county government and development to make citizens have a sense of ownership when it comes to the county. 

My last major goal is to make sure that Union County continues to be a good example of small town living so that future residents can enjoy all that Union County has to offer, as I have done my entire life.

Dale Russell

Name: Dale Russell

Address: Buncombe

Office you are seeking: Reelection to the Union County Board of Commissioners

Party affiliation: Republican

Are you an incumbent? Yes

If yes, how long have you served? I have served as a Union County Commissioner for the last 5 1/2 years. 

Have you ever sought, or held public office? If so, when and what office? Union County Commissioner.

Why are you running? To continue serving the people.

What are your goals if elected? To continue working on grants for county improvements.

If you are incumbent, what are your accomplishments while in office? My fellow commissioners and I have accomplished the following:

Brought the county out of operating in the negative to operating in the positive.

Brought new businesses into the area.

Received grants for road repairs and upgrades, including Skyline Drive.

Grants for an all-purpose building for county use.

As an extension to my Union County Commissioner duties, I have also served on the following boards:

Southern Seven Health Department, Southern Five Planning Commission, Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau.

Paul Schimpf

Name: Paul Schimpf

Home address: Waterloo

Occupation: Lawyer, retired lieutenant colonel, U.S. Marine Corps

Office you are seeking: State Senate, 58th District

Party affiliation: Republican

Are you an incumbent? No.

If you are not an incumbent, have you ever sought or served in public office? If so, what office did you seek? Were you elected? How long did you serve? I did seek election to be the Illinois attorney general in 2014.

What do you think are the most important issues in this election? Budget reforms and making Illinois more competitive with Kentucky, Missouri and Indiana. 

We must work to ensure that Southern Illinois gets its fair share of school funding. 

I believe that we need to work to reestablish trust with the voters across the state. 

I am fortunate to follow the example that Senator Luechtefeld has been providing to the 58th District for many years. 

What are your goals, if you are elected? Two goals: Tell the truth and work hard for our constituents. 

Sheila Simon

Name: Sheila Simon

Home address: Carbondale

Occupation: Teacher at SIU Law School

Office seeking: 58th State Senate seat

Party: Democratic

Incumbent: No.

How long have you served in office? N/A

If you are not an incumbent: have you ever sought, or served, in public office? If so, what did you seek? How long did you serve? Yes. Carbondale City Council (2003-2007), Illinois Lieutenant Governor (2011-2015).

If you are an incumbent, please share what you see as your most significant accomplishment in office: N/A

What do you think are the most important issues in this election? Solving the ongoing budget crisis is the most important issue our state is facing. 

The legislature needs to come to a compromise to provide stability for businesses without cutting services for our most vulnerable. 

What are your goals, if you are elected? If elected, my first priority will be to solve the budget crisis, but we also must fix our broken education funding formula. 

Under the current system schools in wealthy Chicago suburbs can spend up to $26,000/student, while other schools, many of which are in Southern Illinois, have to make do with only $6,000 per student. The quality of our students’ education should not depend on their zip code. 

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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