Morning Shift is sticking to its New Years resolution to help educate Illinois voters on ballot issues and candidates. Today, host Tony Sarabia sits down with Democratic candidate for governor Bob Daiber.
Daiber hails from Madison County in downstate Illinois. As a school superintendent there, he oversees school districts that serve roughly 48,000 students. He spent more than two decades in the classroom, has worked as a village trustee and as a township supervisor.
Daiber also made three failed attempts to represent his district in Springfield, a feat he said was too difficult to pull off because the Republican incumbent had strong GOP support. Nevertheless, in a March 20 primary race that includes a billionaire and a multimillionaire, Daiber believes his status as a regular, hardworking guy makes him uniquely suited to carry downstate Illinois and the state as a whole in the November general election.
Morning Shift's listeners and host Tony Sarabia talk to the gubernatorial candidate about why he wants to be governor and where he stands on the issues.
Below are interview highlights.
Why he wants to be governor
Bob Daiber: I believe I have a skill set to address the real ills that face the state at this time. And I understand how to govern. I have 20 years experience being involved in local government, and local government is the entity that does the real work for people. My skills in doing that will work to pay the state’s bills that are outstanding, develop a manageable budget for the state, fully fund education that’s been lacking, and address many of the other issues that are at the forefront.
Listener question: “How would he take care of breaking up the Madigan machine?”
Daiber: Here’s the situation: As long as [House Speaker Michael Madigan’s] district elects him, he’s going to be back in Springfield. But Bob Daiber becoming governor is new leadership. He’s not Mike Madigan’s choice by a long stretch in this race. But I will deal with him on a daily basis and try to work with him, but as long as his district sends him to Springfield and he maintains the power that he has, he’s going to be in the position that he’s in.
But I’m also in favor of leadership term limits, which may eventually lead to his term as speaker of the House.
Listener question: “What are your thoughts about the opioid crisis?”
Daiber: I serve on a heroin task force in my region, and we have to make available, first of all, Narcan to first responders. And we’ve got to address the opioid epidemic as health crisis. I also run an education providership for Chestnut Health Services, in which we’re treating young people, and this is a serious issue.
One thing we have to do is we have to look at the number of prescriptions that are being issued on this that often lead to opioid addictions. We got to continue to fight heroin on our streets and drug trafficking.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. Click the "play" button to listen to the entire conversation.