MT. VERNON — —
Candidates mostly agreed on what the state's top priorities should be — White opting for pension reform as the top priority, followed by a balanced budget and school funding. Kilquist listed jobs, pension reform and the income tax increase as leading causes. Bryant listed education, tax reform and pensions as top priorities and Mayville listed the budget crisis and education funding as top issues.
In answering a question about what outcomes the candidates are seeking, Kilquist replied, "I want to leave more than I take. I want to take good Southern Illinois values to Springfield."
Bryant said as a person of faith, she feels it is her responsibility to seek a political office. "I feel driven. Integrity and honor mean something to me. I was raised to work 10 hours a day for eight hours of pay, to give generously and let no one take from me and I believe I will carry that to Springfield as my core value."
"We judge ourselves by how we can help someone," Mayville said. "I'm in government now and I know government is broke. We need people to get in there and fix it," the Illinois Director of Mine Safety added. Mayville also said his first act if elected will be to vote against Madigan becoming Speaker of the House.
White said as county board chairman faced with unfunded mandates, the state needs strong representation. "You've got to have an alliance of legislators that will work for you and get things done for the people in your county," he said, noting Jefferson County has not state representation since 2000.
The audience of about 150 people reacted to White's rebuttal of a statement made earlier by Bryant, who as the coordinator of the Illinois GOP coalition said White was mistaken that he should seek out other legislators as his first act in Springfield. "They actually will seek you out," Bryant said.