Phone: (618) 235-3955
Education: B.S. in finance, Illinois State University, 1983; J.D., St. Louis University School of Law, 1986
Previous offices: Illinois state representative
Qualifications: I was elected to my first term as an Illinois state representative in November 1990. In addition, I served as a prosecutor, law enforcement official and public policy advocate. After just four years in the Illinois General Assembly, I was promoted to floor leader for the House Democrats and later became chairman of the House Transportation and Motor Vehicles Committee, where I served for five terms. I also served on the committees of Judicial I (Civil Law), Judicial II (Criminal Law), Labor, Consumer Affairs, Railroad Safety, appropriations committees, and several other committees and task forces. I authored a book that provides a blueprint for utilizing the state's natural resources to create jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil: "Hope from the Heartland: Jobs, Clean Air, Energy Security" It outlines how the Midwest can lead the nation in research and the production of alternative energy by utilizing the Midwestern states' natural resources to create jobs in the declining manufacturing sector. I am committed to ensuring the Midwest becomes a leader in the world's energy industry. Throughout my adult life I've been committed to public service. These unique experiences and qualifications make me a qualified candidate for this position.
Top issues: My No. 1 focus is job creation. During my time in the General Assembly, I was a champion for working families and will continue to be if I'm re-elected. In addition, we must get the state's fiscal house in order. Other issues we face are providing access to early childhood education programs, making sure our region receives its fair share of funding for new roads, improving our schools, making colleges and trade schools more affordable and creating programs at local community colleges for advanced job and career training. Further, we must continue to strengthen benefits for our veterans and make sure that veterans and their families are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.