Madison County Democrats urge Labor to get out the vote Nov. 8

By ROBERT KELLY
Correspondent

Alton, IL — Madison County can elect a full slate of union-backed Democratic candidates next Tuesday, Nov. 8, if traditional Democrats get out and vote.

That message was sounded loudly and clearly by several Labor-endorsed Democratic candidates at a recent campaign rally at Salu/Killion Park in Alton. Over 100 people attended the rally.

“We’ve got to get our people voting,” said Madison County Clerk Debbie Ming-Mendoza. “If they don’t vote, shame on them!”

Lackluster voter turnout in recent Madison County elections by blue-collar workers and other traditional Democrats helped in the election of a Republican majority of county and state officials, speakers at the rally said.

Electing Democrats supported by unions is more important than ever before, speaker after speaker said. The party’s platform helps the needy, those who are disabled, and working people who don’t earn more than a basic living wage, they said.

‘WE ALL WANT THE SAME THINGS’
“We all want the same things,” said state Sen. Kris Tharp (D-Bethalto). “We want safety for our communities. We need affordable health care. We want fairness, equity, and representation for our concerns. And you’ve got to have impartiality to represent all of your constituents.”
Tharp is running for election for the first time. He was appointed last year to fill a vacancy in his Senate district seat.

‘I STRONGLY SUPPORT LABOR’
Madison County Board Member Michael “Doc” Holliday, Sr. (D-Alton), has been an elected official since 1995. He is president of the Illinois Association of County Board Members and Commissioners and is seeking another term on the County Board.

“I’ve been on many boards, and all of that is about service,” Holliday said. “I’m feeling great about the (County Board) race,” he added. “The voters appreciate what I’ve done.”
Holliday has been a machinist and a member of Machinists Local 660 since 1965. “I strongly support Labor,” he said.

HEALTHCARE AND POLICE
Joe Silkwood, the Democratic former mayor of East Alton, is running for a state representative seat with Labor’s endorsement.
“Health care in the United States is a right,” Silkwood said. “And we want to have a fully funded police force for all our people that keeps us safe.”

‘WE NEED SOMEONE ON THE BENCH’
Ebony Huddleston, a lawyer from Alton, is a Democratic candidate for circuit judge.

“We need someone on the bench who understands us and understands our community,” she said.

“You can’t complain about (a lack of) diversity in elected officials if you don’t go to the polls and make your voices heard,” added Huddleston, who is Black.

Associate Judge Ryan Jumper of Edwardsville is another Democratic candidate for circuit judge. He noted that Democratic judges now constitute only a “thin majority” of the judges in Madison County. Keeping and electing Democratic judges will ensure justice for all in the county’s courtrooms, Jumper said.


 

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