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Politically Speaking: Randy Auxier on how Green Party can make an impact in Illinois’ 12th District

Illinois 12th District Green Party candidate Randy Auxier Oct. 4, 2018
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio
Illinois 12th Congressional District's Green Party candidate Randy Auxier

Randy Auxier, the Green Party nominee in Illinois’ 12th Congressional District, is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast.

Auxier is running against incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Bost and Democratic nominee Brendan Kelly. Both Kelly and Bostrecorded episodes of Politically Speaking previously.

Auxier is a Memphis native who is a philosophy professor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He’s been active in Green Party politics for some time, most recently running for a slot on the Jackson County Board in 2016.

The Green Party is one of Illinois’ most successful third party. Its high-water point came in 2006, when Green Party candidate Rich Whitney received more than 10 percent of the vote in the Illinois governor’s race. Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich still won re-election over Republican Judy Baar Topinka — but Whitney’s strong showing was a sign of left-of-center frustration with the incumbent’s administration.

A poll put out last month by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee showed the Auxier would receive about 8 percent of the vote.

Here’s what Auxier had to say during the program:

  • He contends that Bost and Kelly are fairly conservative candidates, which means that left-of-center voters in the district would be more inclined to vote for him because he’s more in line with their political philosophy.
  • He’s opposed to a tax cut package that was passed through Congress last year, noting that it will likely saddle future generations with debt. Auxier was especially dismayed that corporations ended up reaping a lot of the benefit from the tax cuts.
  • Both Bost and Kelly have tried to portray themselves as pro-union. Auxier notes that he’s been very involved in a faculty member union of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He said he was part of a team negotiating two collective bargaining agreements — and was part of a 2011 strike.
  • Auxier disputes the idea that the Green Party is a spoiler for Kelly in this race. He said that it’s entirely possible he will get support from people that vote for both major political parties, pointing to research of other contests where there’s a Green Party candidate.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Randy Auxier on Twitter: @Randy4SoIL

Music: “Here We Go” by *NSYNC

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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