As two Republican candidates square off in the primary election, one Democratic candidate will wait and watch to see who she will run against in November for the 110th District state representative seat.
Republican candidates Chris Miller and Terry A. Davis will face off March 20 while Democratic candidate Shirley A. Bell should receive her party's nod in preparation for November.
Miller, 63, Oakland, is married to wife Mary, has seven children and 14 grandchildren.
Previous elective experience includes the Lake Land College student representative to the Board of Trustees and Illinois Angus Association Board (chairman of the promotion committee).
He created and sponsors a father/son camp and is very involved in his church and community.
Miller says three top issues related to the 110th District seat are gun rights, the progressive income tax and government waste.
"Our Second Amendment rights are under attack in Springfield," Miller said. "New laws that will negatively impact our right to bear arms are being brought forth by Mike Madigan and his Chicago Democrat friends. Law-abiding citizens are the only ones that will be hurt with these new laws. Criminals will obtain firearms no matter what new laws are passed by liberal lawmakers from Chicago. We need to send a solid conservative to Springfield to put up a fight against Speaker Madigan and his assault against our rights."
On the tax issue, Miller said Madigan, J.B. Pritzker and their "Chicago Democrat friends" want to "punish those who pursue success and work to create jobs." Miller said he will "stand strong against a progressive income-tax hike and will work hard to reverse unnecessary tax dollars going to Chicago. A progressive income tax will further the mass exodus of Illinois citizens fleeing to neighboring states for tax relief," he said.
Miller said the state does not have a revenue problem, but a "massive" spending problem.
"Politicians have a track record of not having the intestinal fortitude to stand up against special interest groups by telling them 'No more spending,'" Miller said. "Our state has got to get its financial obligations taken care of, the most vulnerable looked after, and needs to provide the best of the best service to our overburdened taxpayers."
MIller added that he "will not waver" on his conservative principles and pro-family values.
Terry A. Davis, 67, Mattoon, is married to wife of 26 years, Kathy. He has a daughter who is running the family jewelry business, and two sons.
He is a member and past president of Charleston Rotary Club, Member Masonic Lodge 35, Past President of Illinois Jewelers Association, served on boards of directors of United Way, Downtown Merchants Association, and Charleston Chamber of Commerce. He has been a longtime supporter of numerous local service and charitable organizations including Pheasants Forever, SACIS, CASA, Children's Advocacy Center, HOPE, F.O.P., Haiti Connection, and others.
Davis said the state budget should be trimmed by doing a "line-by-line analysis to find any excesses and inefficiencies."
"There are 131 lines of appropriations for printing," he gave as one example. "We are in the digital age where a majority of this printing (and subsequent filing and storage) costs can be eliminated.
"Also, legislative pay could be reduced to be in line with many other states that only pay from $17,000 to $25,000 per year. Illinois pays representatives over $67,000 per year plus a very generous benefits package. I will not be signing up for the health care or pension benefits package," Davis said.
Davis favors term limits for all leadership positions in the General Assembly, saying should be held for no more than two terms. "This will limit the accumulation of power by one individual that currently is the cause of legislative gridlock that prevents Illinois from moving forward," he said.
He is also in favor of reversing the state income-tax increase "by eliminating excessive, bloated, multi-layered bureaucracy and maximizing the efficiency of government services."
Davis said his experience in nearly 40 years of running a business has taught him how to live within a budget and to adjust it budget as required by the ups and downs of the economy. "It has also taught me that honesty, integrity, and living up to your promises are the most important qualities to have when dealing with the public," Davis said.
Democratic candidate Shirley A. Bell, 65, Mattoon, has one son and twin six year-old grandsons.
She is a first-time, "grass-roots" candidate. She retired in 2014 from Eastern Illinois University after teaching interpersonal communication there for 19 years. She is involved in many community and campus groups, focusing since retirement on voter registration drives and call/write your representative campaigns to increase citizen involvement in local, state, and national government. Memberships include Mattoon Area YMCA, University Professionals of Illinois, State University Annuitants Association, Coles County Illinois Democrats, Charleston Women's Huddle Action, Coles Progressives, Progressives of East Central Illinois, and more.
"The state budget impasse of two-plus years has damaged the whole state, however, rural districts like the 110th have been particularly hard hit," Bell said. "We lost jobs, we lost services, and we lost people. It's time to start investing in our people again and we begin that through education. We fully invest in educational opportunities for all from Pre-K through higher education, with expanded opportunities for post high school education including apprenticeships, certificate, and targeted training programs for those who do not wish to pursue a two- or four-year degree," she said.
Expanding job opportunities in the district is also a top issue for Bell.
"A good job is one that pays a livable wage (a wage that one can live and raise a family on), health insurance, benefits, is stable, and provides a path for advancement," she said. "We have shortages of teachers and other K-12 personnel, health care professionals, and skilled trade workers, among others. When we invest in quality, affordable education for all, we expand job opportunities, people living here have their needs met, and our communities grow and thrive."
Bell said she wants to find "practical, long-term solutions" to Illinois' financial problems.
"Illinois needs to produce an annual budget annually, we need to pay debts on time so that we avoid the completely wasteful interest payments on unpaid debts, we need to overhaul the tax code, and we need to fund those things we contracted to fund," she said. "This can only be accomplished when our representatives work together, negotiate, compromise, and begin thinking in terms of the long-term benefit for all Illinoisans."
Bell believes she can help address the gridlock in Springfield.
I've knocked a lot of doors and talked to hundreds of people and I can tell you, they are fed up." she said. "They are, quite rightly, thoroughly disgusted with a state government so gridlocked by hyper-partisanship that it cannot get anything done, can't even pass a budget.
"If legislation is anything, it's a joint problem-solving activity: There is a problem affecting the people of the state and they hire representatives to work together to solve that problem," she explained. "That's the way it's supposed to work, however, it hasn't worked that way in quite some time. Bipartisanship, compromise, negotiation are not dirty words, they are fundamental job requirements for a legislator.
"I have been teaching interpersonal communication for most of my adult life and I will bring those skills with me to Springfield," Bell said. "I'm willing to listen to good ideas no matter who has them, I know how to work with people, and I know how to listen. I've listened to the people of the 110th and they want change - they want state government to work again and they want their concerns addressed. That is the approach I'll take in Springfield - I'll do my homework, I'll listen to my constituents, I'll work with my colleagues, and I'll dedicate myself to my new, full-time job."
Posted: Thursday, March 08, 2018
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Terry Davis doesn't understand that politicians still pay taxes, and per diem/per day is still pay they are receiving
Under per day pay they are under a different tax code, and under a different tax form so they virtually do not put money back into our tax system.
Politicians are more prone to bribing, and bad decisions without somewhat good pay.
Second he has complained about expecting people that make 500,000 paying taxes. If you make 500,000 are you really going to be crying about taxes? What about the people that need services like disabled veterans, or with disabilities? Paying for social services in the state have already received cuts under Rauner's new proposed budget.
Chris miller only cares about bibles, second amendment rights, and pro-choice what about the working people in this district? What about taking care of the people of the 110th? What about fixing our broken roads,and crumbling infrastructure? He has ignored EIU, Charleston and other forums he has not attended where constituents wanted to hear from him.
Neither are fit for office vote for a candidate that is going to care about the people of this district. Vote Shirley Bell!