Two of the three candidates vying for Illinois 12th Congressional district squared off in a debate Tuesday night, each saying they could do a better job than the person who currently holds the position.
Green Party Candidate Randy Auxier says he’s an independent voice that’s willing to work from the middle to solve problems.
“I don’t have to answer to any higher authority that tells me who I can and can’t work with. I think my availability to work with anyone who wants to work with me is a real starting place.”
Meanwhile Democrat Brendan Kelly says he’s willing to go against the leadership of his party for the good of his district and the nation.
“We just have to show some courage, and be willing to take on the fights that have to be fought – including in your own party. And we’ll be able to overcome the divide in this courage, if we’re willing to show some courage.”
He says Representative Mike Bost’s lack of availability is a detriment to the district.
“He’d be a lot better public official if he’d be willing to listen to people and have those tough conversations. If you’re not willing to meet with the boss, you should be fired.”
Both Kelly and Auxier say Republican tax policies and votes to restrict healthcare access are reasons Bost should not get another term in office.
Auxier says members of Congress are given global access to opportunity – and he would do more to share that opportunity with southern Illinois.
“I would want ot form a coalition of mayors, a coalition of county commissions, and a coalition of business leaders in this district, and take them places where I can get in the door, but they can’t.”
Both Auxier and Kelly agree there is a need for tax reform, criminal justice reform, and education reform – but they differ on how they’d fix problems within each of those systems.
Bost was invited to the debate, but declined due to a scheduling conflict. All three men will debate next Tuesday (October 23) on WSIU.