Marion Mayor voices support of senate candidate Dale Fowler
Marion Mayor Robert L. Butler recently voiced his support for Dale Fowler, the Republican candidate for the state senate in the 59th District.
“Politics in Southern Illinois isn’t always about picking one party or the other, it’s about picking the right person for the job,” Butler said. “The people of Marion and the people of Southern Illinois deserve a state senator that can deliver results for this district. Dale Fowler is the right man for the job.”
Butler was elected mayor in 1963 and is the longest serving mayor in the state’s history. He is also believed to have the second longest run as mayor in United States history. During his time as mayor, the city has witnessed incredible growth, even during the current budget crisis.
“The level of capital investment that Mayor Butler has brought into Marion is impressive and benefits the whole Southern Illinois economy,” Fowler, the current Mayor of Harrisburg, said.
Butler agreed with Fowler that students, seniors and veterans deserve to have consistent funding so they are not subject to the whims of the state legislature’s budget politics and political games. Butler said he is dedicated to the city's continued growth and believes that Fowler would be an asset to Marion, especially when it comes to the creation of jobs, if he wins a seat on the state senate in Springfield.
“During my tenure as mayor I have had the opportunity to work closely with both candidates," Butler said. "I know Dale Fowler will give southern Illinoisans the strong voice we need in Springfield."
Fowler recently added his voice to advocate for better education in the state. This came after his opponent, incumbent Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, released a campaign ad accusing Fowler of supported taking funding away from schools in Southern Illinois to give to the Chicago Public School system. Fowler decided then to shed some truth on the matter with his support for education.
The ad put out by the Forby campaign claims that Fowler backed the education plan of Gov. Bruce Rauner. Yet it was Forby himself that voted in favor of the SB 2047 stopgap that bailed out the Chicago Public School system. It was Fowler who brought this fact to the attention of the public in his blog, posting what Forby said after the vote had taken place.
"Southern Illinois schools will not only open on time this fall, but we will finally see our fair share," Forby said. "It was a fight, but once the governor agreed to drop his demands, we were able to move forward on making sure our school children have the resources they need to succeed."
Fowler refuted Forby’s claims that he supported Rauner’s stopgap budget by issuing a statement against transferring funds to Chicago from communities in Southern Illinois.
“It seems as though we are being forced to bail out Chicago due to lack of good leadership throughout the last decade,” he said. “Rather than bailing out Chicago we should reform our system and invest in our students and not bureaucracy.”
Fowler has stated that he supports fair education funding and the day before the stopgap was passed, Fowler expressed his frustration with a post on social media.
"Stopgaps and insulting votes to spend billions more than we have are irresponsible," Fowler said on his Facebook page. "Our elementary and high school students are not stopgaps. Our educators are not stopgaps. Our universities do not employ or instruct stopgaps. Our social service agencies serve us, serve our neighbors, and serve our communities. We do not have stopgap lives. We are people. We are your constituents. And we demand that you finally do your jobs."
Fowler has stated that he believes students, no matter their background, deserve the same level of education. He has also emphasized his stance that teachers and technology are essential to the success of students and that teachers should be rewarded for their hard work.