Jim Ryan rallies for crunch time votes

By Gus Bode

Attorney General Jim Ryan teams up with former governor Jim Edgar to clean up state

In a rally at the Southern Illinois Airport Monday night, Attorney General Jim Ryan announced that if elected for governor, he would appoint former governor Jim Edgar to chair his transition team.

The team’s objective would be to restore trust and fiscal stability to Springfield. In a press release, Ryan said Edgar is a leader of unquestioned integrity with experience of leading the state out of fiscal woes.


“The next governor needs to hit the ground running on Wednesday,” Edgar said. “The polls are going for Jim Ryan.”

The crowd, all decked out in red, white and blue went wild, their screams and cheers of enthusiasm almost deafening in the small lobby of the airport.

“There’s no place in the state like Southern Illinois,” he said. “You understand politics better than in the wards of Chicago.”

Ryan then took the podium and began with saying, “I’d like to say goodbye and thanks for coming,” because he was in a hurry. But he didn’t leave just then. He spoke about the intense need for change in Springfield.

“I’m going to fight like hell until Nov. 5 to win this election for you and your families,” he said.

Kara Dunkel from Makanda was clad in a blue “Jim Ryan for Governor” shirt. She said she came to support Ryan because he is against partial birth abortions.

“Jim has Christian values and he’s a family man,” she said. “This is what America is about.”


Her son, William, was also wearing a blue Ryan shirt and was toting a “God Bless America” sign. When asked about Jim Ryan and politics, the 8-year-old could only muster a smile and a cheery, “I don’t know.”

“It’s an honest answer,” his mom said.

Sarah Doerr, 71, from Murphysboro was busy taking questions from fellow Republicans about the origin of her sweatshirt.

“I made this when Edgar was running for governor,” said Doerr of her blue sweatshirt revealing an elephant embossed with silver puff-paint. “I had it hanging in the closet; I had forgotten about it until now. I decided to wear it to support Jim Ryan.”

Doerr said she supports Ryan because he’s not making promises about everything to everybody just to get votes.

“He’s a man of highest integrity,” she said. “He’s good, honest and sincere.”

Despite all the positive energy churning through the crowd, Ryan has had to deal with some negative tactics in the field. When asked about the accusations of failing to investigate the license for bribes scandal, Ryan said it’s a ridiculous argument.

“The bottom line is that it’s not fair,” he said. “I want to win just as badly as he does but you shouldn’t misrepresent someone’s record to do that.”

Mike Calbwell, a Tamms Correctional Facility worker and Alexander County resident, likes Ryan’s stance on gun control. He said Ryan is for the firearm owner and First Amendment rights.

“He’s a good man,” Calbwell said. “He’s the only one who can solve the problems in Springfield.”

Chris Field from Carrier Mills attended the rally to do one thing.

“I just came to shake hands with the next governor of Illinois,” he said.

Reporter Arin Thompson can be reached at [email protected]