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Vote 2012 Preview: 13th Congressional District
The boundaries of the newly drawn 13th Congressional District stretch
from Collinsville to Normal, and Greene to Champaign counties.
Six-term Rep. Timothy Johnson's decision to step down left the seat wide open.
"My obligation would be to our country first," Democratic candidate David Gill said.
"I'll walk into a room and ask not what's the Republican or Democrat solution, but what's the best solution," Republican candidate Rodney Davis said.
"Being a person that feels capable of leadership, I feel I need to emerge," independent candidate John Hartman said.
All three candidates in the 13th Congressional District vow to work across party lines to break the stalemate in Washington.
One priority they agree on is lowering the unemployment rate, which is nearing 13 percent in part of the district.
"I speak to the job creators in the 13th district," Davis said. "What they tell me is they need certainty in understanding what their tax bill is going to look like at the end of this year, and also what their health care costs are going to look like."
Republican Rodney Davis is an aide to Congressman John Shimkus and a Taylorville native.
"We need to provide them certainty by extending our current tax rates, not talking about a tax cut or raising taxes at all," Davis said.
Democrat David Gill disagrees. He's an emergency room physician in Bloomington. He supports raising taxes on families making more than $250,000, as well as renegotiating trade agreements with Canada, Mexico and other countries.
"While they've been good for some of the big corporations, they've been terrible for the people who live in the district," Gill said. "People understand those free trade agreements are responsible for the loss of a million jobs or more here in the country and tens of thousands throughout the state."
John Hartman is running as an independent. The Edwardsville native is the chief financial officer at a research and manufacturing company.
"The role of government is to provide an environment where business can thrive," Hartman said. "The principal thing we need to do is avoid a further trajectory of deficits, so that we're really asking for trouble. We've got to avoid worse unemployment and let the private sector create jobs."
When it comes to health care, Hartman supports the Affordable Care Act.
"We cannot go back on that," Hartman said. "What we need to do is address the fact that our health care spending per person in the U.S. is higher than other countries."
Gill supports parts of the law, including access to coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. He'd like to expand Medicare.
"What I would propose is ultimately all American citizens should have the opportunity to be within the Medicare system, rather than have this surtax," Gill said.
If elected, Davis would vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He supports a market-based approach, including the ability to buy insurance across state lines.
"I hope we can put that plan forward to have a system that can work, because the status quo is unacceptable," Davis said.
Voters will have the final say on three very different candidates.
Watch the raw interview with Rodney Davis
Watch the raw interview with David Gill
Watch the raw interview with John Hartman
Watch the 13th Congressional debate hosted by ABC Newschannel 20