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Dems tout diversity on anniversary of 19th Amendment

August 25, 2010 2:56:14 PM PDT
Lieutenant governor candidate Sheila Simon and state treasurer nominee Robin Kelly hosted a so-called town hall meeting on women's issues the day before the 90th anniversary of the signing of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote.

"People died for us to have the right to vote and I think we need to honor those people and exercise that right," said Robin Kelly, (D) nominee for treasurer.

Out that of six Democrats running to fill the state's constitutional offices-- from governor to comptroller-- three candidates are females. Simon and Kelly contrast their ticket's gender diversity to the Republican Party's lineup-- where only one nominee is female.

"When I explain that if the democratic slate is elected the constitutional officers will be half of them women half of them male, the reaction most often is 'about time,'" said Simon.

Republican candidate for comptroller--Judy Baar Topinka-- campaigned downstate Wednesday.

"Pack a ticket with women doesn't necessarily get you anywhere," said Topinka in a telephone conversation with ABC7. "I think the republican agenda is probably more relevant."

On Tuesday, after Governor Pat Quinn named Michelle Saddler to be his chief of staff, Republican State Senator Kirk Dillard said the appointment of a minority female was a political move. On Wednesday Dillard said he was not suggesting Saddler is unqualified.

"Governor Quinn is way behind in the polls and he's looking for any wedge issue he can find against my colleague," said Sen. Kirk Dillard, (R) Hinsdale, "but I think Michelle Saddler is a fine choice as Governor Quinn's chief of staff."

"She is a Princeton-educated, well-qualified person who also has gender and ethnicity. We're here saying it is time to look for lots of qualified people in lots of places," said Simon.

During the fall campaign, Democrats are expected to lean heavily on what they consider to be women's issues.

A Rasmussen reports poll on the governor's race released Wednesday has Republican Bill Brady leading Pat Quinn by 9 points, 46% to 37%. That lead was 13 points just a couple of weeks ago--but it's only a poll.


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