The Effingham County Democrats held what hopes to be their annual soup supper on Saturday evening, February 22 at the Effingham American Legion. With a large turnout of Effingham County Democrats along with many of our friends from neighboring counties such as Shelby and Jasper Counties, it was an evening to restate the values that all Democrats hold in common.
Those who attended were able to meet and talk with Effingham County Board candidate Doug McCain and Effingham County Treasurer Candidate Steve Dasenbrock. Retired Judge Jim Harvey gave a rousing speech that reiterated what Democrats do stand for and what Republicans don't stand for.
He was followed by Circuit Judge Candidate Ericka Sanders who discussed her reasons for wanting to run for the position. She currently holds the position of Associate Judge and wished to continue many of the proactive programs that are occurring here in our own county.
Dr. Josh Berger, state representative candidate for the 107th district followed. Explain his reasons for running. Dr. Berger, a chiropractor who practices in Centralia discussed how the actions or inaction in Springfield is impacting his hometown and southern Illinois. He stated that he wants to be the person in Springfield who works on behalf of southern Illinois, and not merely the one who falls in line with his party leaders, unlike his opponent.
Eric Thorsland, candidate for U.S. Representative for the 15th District in Illinois, spoke of his desire to break the continuous run of his opponent's reelection to the U.S. House. He reminded those present that Mr. Shimkus, when elected the first time, stated he would only serve two terms. If Mr. Shimkus would be successful, this would be his tenth consecutive term. Ironically, many statewide candidates of the same party of Mr. Shimkus are calling for term limits. Mr. Thorsland spoke of his upbringing and how his father was a victim of President Reagan's union breaking action of firing of the air traffic controllers in the early 1980s. Mr. Thorsland vowed to work for his district rather than being the representative who didn't rock the boat in order to ensure his own reelection.
Finally the evening ended with special guest, current Illinois Lieutenant Governor, and current candidate for Illinois Comptroller, Sheila Simon. Ms. Simon mentioned her upbringing and the values that her father, the late Senator Paul Simon, had instilled in her regarding holding elected office. She discussed how important it was as a politician to be honest, hardworking, and to have transparency has a candidate and in the office that is being held. She remarked how she was working diligently with Illinois State Senator Andy Manar(D)Bunker Hill in reevaluating how school funding works in the state of Illinois. This would have a profound positive impact on schools in Effingham County and other surrounding counties. Ms. Simon also discussed how she wishes move the Illinois Comptroller's office from the capacity of an accounting agency for government to a resource for all local government entities to use to evaluate how they are spending tax dollars and where the could be more wisely invested and managed.
As the evening closed, all of the candidates and speakers remained to meet with all those in attendance. The Effingham County Democrats will be planning numerous other events throughout the year to continue to draw attention to the issues that concern southern Illinois and the candidates who will speak on behalf on the constituents of southern Illinois.