Gill, Goetten Debate Days Before Primary Election


13th Congressional Debate from Illinois Public Media on Vimeo.


The Democratic candidates running in Illinois' re-drawn 13th Congressional district took part in a debate Wednesday night on WILL-TV.

Bloomington doctor David Gill and Greene County State's Attorney Matt Goetten are competing in Tuesday's Democratic primary.

The candidates have different opinions about term limits. Gill, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives for the fourth time, said he support term limits for members of Congress.

"Just as we passed an amendment in 1951 to term limit presidents, we should do the same," Gill said. "A lot of my friends tell me the downsides to it. I think the upside outweighs the downside."

Meanwhile, Matt Goetten said he would oppose a constitutional amendment for term limits. He said there is a lot of institutional knowledge that could be gained by serving in office over a long period of time.

"I just don't see us getting to the threshold that we need to get to to even have that be an issue," Goetten said.

During the debate, the candidates also weighed in on gay marriage and contraception issues.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as only between a man and a woman. Gill said DOMA should be repealed.

"I think our LGBT friends should be stood up for by true Democrats, and I think proudly stand up for them," Gill said. "They should have the freedom to marry is all 50 states of the union."

Goetten said he doesn't believe the law would survive a court challenge.

"DOMA is unconstitutional," Goetten said. "I believe it will be found such later this year. I, like Dave, am for equality."

The two Democrats were also asked about President Obama's decision to require contraception coverage for employees of Catholic institutions.

Goetten has described himself as a pro-choice Catholic who has always chosen life. Gill said he is the only 100 percent pro-choice candidate in this race, and he accused Goetten of ducking the issue. Goetten said he agrees with Gill that women should have access to contraception.

Gill and Goetten are competing to run against Congressman Tim Johnson of Urbana, who faces challenges from Metro East residents Michael Firsching and Frank Metzger in the GOP primary.

The re-drawn 13th Congressional District stretches from Champaign-Urbana west to the Mississippi River and to the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis.

View the online chat room that was live during the broadcast

Story source: WILL