COPE-endorsed candidates bring their cases to Madison County Fed.


East Alton, IL – Democratic primary candidates endorsed by the 12th Congressional District AFL-CIO COPE took their campaigns to the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor on Feb. 28

The Democratic primary election is next Tuesday, March 17.

Bob Daiber, candidate for Madison County Board chairman, who is running to unseat incumbent Republican Kurt Prenzler, told Federation delegates “The importance of this race is to solidify quality of life for working men and women in this county. That’s one of the key things on my agenda.

“This administration has not been faithful in collective bargaining,” he said. “They tried to undermine Teamster contracts with MESD, on replacing union work with non-union work.”

Joe Silkwood, the mayor of East Alton who now is running for county auditor, said Republican officials have been mounting an attack on union jobs in the county and many of its smaller boards and districts by using elections to take over their boards, relying on Democrats not voting in those down-ballot races.

“They are not only trying to mess with Madison County and Labor there, these guys are still promoting the attack on positions in water districts, lighting districts and school boards,” Silkwood said.

“Lewis and Clark College is a good example. Their goal is to work from the bottom up, get majorities on these boards and stop using money to promote construction.

“We’ve got a group there that wants to run government, and what they think running government is is doing nothing. And that costs us jobs, and thousands and millions of dollars in our region if we allow them.”

Electing Daiber is vital, Silkwood said, because of the number of appointments the board chairman makes to the local boards and service districts.

“These appointments decide how thousands of dollars get spent in this county, whether we’re going to use it for union labor or we’re not even going to use it at all,” he said.

“I want to work hand-in-hand with Bob Daiber and the other Democrats to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make Madison County the best it can be,” Silkwood said. “We are not the best we can be right now.”

Crystal Uhe, running for state’s attorney and currently the first assistant to State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons, noted that as first assistant, she has handled more than 50 murder trials and has not lost one. She has also supervised the office’s children’s justice and violent crime divisions.

“These races are so important. I need everyone to get out and vote,” Uhe said. “I’m out there and working hard and working for all of us.”

Others endorsed Madison County candidates include Amy Gabriel for circuit clerk; Steve Nonn for re-election as coroner; Tom Gibbons for circuit judge; Rich Tognarelli for 3rd Circuit judge.

Judy Cates has been endorsed for the Illinois Supreme Court and Sarah Smith for the Appellate Court.

Legislative endorsements include: Monica Bristow, 111th District; Katie Stuart, 112th District; Jay Hoffman, 113th District; LaToya Greenwood, 114th District; Nathan Reitz, 116th District; and Kacie Weicherding, 108th District.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin was also endorsed for re-election.

All of the endorsed candidates are Democrats.


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