When the final votes are cast, the ballots are counted and the winners are determined in the Nov. 6 election, whoever becomes the legislators representing Southern Illinois including the 12th Congressional District will need to tend to their constituents’ concerns.
So what do voters want from their elected official? The Belleville News-Democrat asked several voters over the last few weeks.
Paul Durr, 43, of Caseyville, is a Libertarian and said he wants to see economic growth.
“I would like to see more growth,” Durr said. “Get the minority areas the poverty stricken areas to start bringing back businesses. Until you get people to have jobs, you’re never going to get the growth at the exponential rate. Make it easier for people to come to this state and set up a business and give these people jobs so we can all start to benefit.”
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Rick Davison, 70, of O’fallon, worked for Ameren before retiring.
Davison makes reference to a saying Bill Clinton adviser James Carville made during the 1992 presidential campaign.
“It’s the economy stupid, and it still is, and it always will be,” Davinson said. “People want jobs, people want a vibrant economy, people want to be able to provide for their family. They want to make a decent income to be able to provide for families and educate their families.”
Tyrone Echols, mayor of Venice, said he is disappointed with the upper levels of government.
“We don’t see the results, the fruits of their labor has not reached here,” Echols said. “We don’t seem to be the clientele that they’re worried about either.”
He wants to see jobs and economic growth.
“They can’t run out of money because they’re printing it. Put it to good use,” Echols said. “Give the squeaky wheels the grease and this is where it’s needed.”
He said they’re not doing anything for the the areas.
“I want to see some input, not only in Venice, right through this area — Brooklyn, Venice, Madison, East St. Louis — these are the predominantly black areas and we’ve been the left out ones,” Echols said. “We want the overdue attention we deserve.”
Linsy Peridore, of Alton, lives in the 12th district and expects to vote for Bost. He’s a truck driver.
He said he wants “somebody that’s like us. Working class, not scared of getting dirty. Not saying they have to be poor. I would like for them to listen to more of the area.”
Peridore also said he doesn’t want redundant laws on the books and he wants whoever is elected to be visible even when it’s not campaign season.
“More or less, what I want to see is a little bit more of a people’s representative,” Peridore said. “Like maybe put an effort past the election time to come visit people.”
Linda King, 68, of Ava, near Murphysboro, is an accountant at SIU Carbondale. She said she wants to see cooperation during the next congress.
“I hope they could come together with the bipartisanship,” King said. “I’m not Republican. I’m not a Democrat. … I’m for the man, I look at their history. I want to know what they stand for, and what’s going to be best for my grand kids down the line.”
She said the biggest issue in the 12th district is jobs.
“We used to be a booming area where we had mines, and the UMWA was great around here,” King said. “I believe in saving the environment as much as possible, but I don’t think it should be in lieu of our jobs ought to make it as great as we can.”
Jon Lewis, 79, of Columbia is a retired school finance officer. He is a Brendan Kelly supporter and said one of things he wants to see is more civility.
“Work on civility, work on bringing the parties together, so we don’t have hate speech anymore, work on things that will bring economic stability to Southern Illinois,” Lewis said. “And expand the opportunities for commerce, expand the opportunities for business. Expand the opportunity to raise the minimum wage, to raise wages for workers.”
Lucille Skibinski, 68, of Caseyville, is a supporter of U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro and President Trump.
Her concerns are economic as well, no matter who wins Tuesday’s election.
“I want them to continue the work that Mike has started,” Skibinski said. “He’s put a lot of people back to work. He’s put a lot of people back to work in Granite City. He’s put the coal mines back to work. We need to have more people like that, putting our voters back to work.”
William Jacobs, 79, of Granite City, also worried about jobs and economy in the northern part of the Illinois 12th District.
“We’ve got black people who can hardly feed themselves, and there’s not just one or two of them, there’s hundreds of thousands of them,” Jacobs said. “They talk about our economy being so great. …nobody making $15 an hour working 20 hours a week is going to be able to support their family. I think it’s hideous they keep trying to tell us what a great economy we got.”
But whoever wins, needs to remember the voters.
“I want him to remember who put him up there. And what’s good for this country not what’s good for his party. No matter who wins,” Jacobs said.