News Local/State

Gill Fights To Remain On Ballot As Independent

David Gill

David Gill is fighting to remain on the ballot as an independent candidate for Congress. Sean Powers/Illinois Public Media

Bloomington doctor David Gill is fighting to remain on the ballot for his fifth run for Congress. Because he filed as an independent, Illinois requires that he turn in nearly 15 times as many signatures as the Democrat and Republican in the race.

Gill fell short, and is suing. He says it's unconstitutional to have a signature requirement that’s so much higher for independent candidates.

“You know, people know that in elections they have to choose between the lesser of two evils," Gill said. "They’ve got to choose between bad and worse. But they don’t know why. So hopefully, if nothing else, this will shine a light on how difficult it is for other people to get on the ballot."

Gill was in Springfield Wednesday afternoon for a hearing in a federal courtroom. The judge, Sue Myerscough, says she’ll make her decision by noon Thursday.

Gill’s campaign gathered more than 8,000 valid signatures for his independent run for Congress. Although that was way more than the Democrat and Republican had to collect, it wasn’t enough.  In his lawsuit, Gill argues the higher signature requirement is all about protecting the major parties from competition.

"Especially when you’re saying the Democrat and the Republican need 740 and I need 10,754," Gill said. "Everybody knows that’s a joke."

The Illinois State Board of Elections is scheduled to finalize the November ballots at a meeting this Friday.

Gill has filed to run in the 13th Congressional District, which stretches across central Illinois, taking in parts of Springfield, Bloomington, and Champaign. Republican Congressman Rodney Davis of Taylorville is running for a third term. Also in the race is Democrat Mark Wicklund of Decatur.