Election 2020: 12th Congress Race

Mar 6, 2020

WSIU partnered with The Southern Illinoisan newspaper to interview candidates ahead of the March 17 primary in Illinois.

All candidates were asked the same questions, and given up to 30 minutes for their interview. In the 12th Congressional District, there are two men running for the Democratic nomination: Ray Lenzi and Joel Funk.

1) Tell us about yourself, and why you're running.

  • Joel Funk:
  • Ray Lenzi:

2) Your party will be developing its platform for the 2020 campaign over the coming months. What are your top priorities, and what makes your party stand out against the others? How does this translate on a state level?

  • Joel Funk:
  • Ray Lenzi:

3) What is the biggest need in your district, and how would you address it?

  • Joel Funk:
  • Ray Lenzi:

4) What would make you an effective lawmaker? Can you name one piece of legislation that you would sponsor that directly helps your district?

  • Joel Funk:
  • Ray Lenzi:

5) The budget has been a bigissue in the past few years in Springfield. What are your top three spending priorities, and what three things would you be willing to cut?

  • Joel Funk:
  • Ray Lenzi:

6) Education leaders say they've made big strides recently with new funding reforms, but many districts are now faced with a teaher shortage. How would you boost education, and give students the best possible opportunity for success?

  • Joel Funk:
  • Ray Lenzi:

7) Education remains a top prioirty - particularly when it comes to funding. What would you do to relieve the property tax burden, while still providing the necessary dollars to schools, cities, and other entities in your district?

  • Joel Funk:
  • Ray Lenzi:

8) Systems from law enforcement to healthcare are overwhelmed with the nation's opioid epidemic, and this region is still battling methamphetamine and other drug abuse. What should the state's drug policy look like, and how does the new legalization of recreational marijuana factor into that conversation?

  • Joel Funk:
  • Ray Lenzi:

9) Coal and manufacturing once dominated the economy of southern Illinois. What's the next big boom, and how will you help boost it?

  • Joel Funk:
  • Ray Lenzi:

If time permitted, the candidates were asked if there was anything else they'd like to add. Here are their answers:

  • Joel Funk:
  • Ray Lenzi: