Third Party Candidates for Governor; Student Loans & Retirement Saving; New Illinois Made Makers

July 16, 2018

NAVY veteran Grayson "Kash" Jackson of Antioch, Ill., speaks to the media after he filed to run as the libertarian candidate for Illinois governor in Springfield, Ill., Monday, June 25, 2018.

Sarah Zimmerman/AP

On the 21st: We talked third party candidates for governor and how they can have a much harder time gaining traction, especially here in Illinois. And, the ramifications of student loan debt, and what some employers are doing to combat this issue. Plus, the newest bakeries, farms and other small businesses added to the Illinois Made program.

The midterm elections are less than four months way. Voters will choose their state and local officials - including members of Congress and, of course, our next governor.

And when you go to fill out your ballot here in Illinois, you’ll see at least four names in the race for governor.

You probably know about two of them. Our current Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, and the Democratic nominee, billionaire JB Pritzker. But this time, there are two more candidates on the ballot: one of them is the Libertarian Party’s nominee, Kash Jackson. And the other is current Republican State Senator Sam McCann, running under the banner of the “Conservative Party.”

Third party candidates can have a hard time attracting voters when compared to the two dominant parties in the US - and, Illinois doesn’t’ make it any easier.

With us on the line today was Rich Whitney. He was the Green Party’s nominee for Governor of Illinois in 2006 and 2010. Brian Gaines was also in our studio at WILL. He’s a professor of political science with the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois.

As the use of student loans increase, so does the awareness of the ramifications of high debt for young Americans--there's bad credit and even stress and poor health according to some studies. And of course, one of the biggest problems is the inability to save.

In Illinois, more than 60 percent of students who graduate college in our state have some amount of debt, with an average bill of almost $30,000.

Well, now some employers in Illinois are trying to ease that burden by helping young employees save for retirement so that they can focus on paying down their student loan debt.

On the line was Mary Moreland. Mary is the Divisional Vice President of Compensation and Benefits for Abbott Laboratories, one of the companies who is helping students save.  We’re also joined by Paige Jones, who is a Communications Specialist at Abbott. Paige got her masters degree from Northwestern University back in 2016.

Well when it comes to buying locally, the Illinois Office of Tourism is trying to make things a little easier for you. They’ve just added more than two dozen artisans, farms, bakeries and other small businesses to their Illinois Made program. The idea is to help people in Illinois and tourists discover hidden gems in their neighborhood or along their travels. We had some of the new Illinois Made additions on with us today.

On the line was Rachel Coventry. Rachel is the store manager and beekeeper at Curtis Orchard in Savoy, outside of Champaign.

And from Woodstock we had Annette Gast, the co-owner of the Silver Prairie natural Soap Company and Matt Potts, the founder of Potts and Pans Steelband.