BLOOMINGTON - With health care in turmoil and few lawmakers willing to oppose President Bush, Americans must look to change the political landscape during upcoming congressional elections, Dr. David Gill said Monday.
Gill, a family physician from Clinton, will run as Democrat in November against 15th District U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana.
Having lost a bid to unseat Johnson in 2004, Gill said he has again committed to becoming a counterbalance to the Bush administration and the Republicans currently in power.
Calling Johnson a career lawmaker who is beholden to the political action committees that have contributed heavily to his campaign, Gill vowed he'd only answer to citizens of the 15th District if elected.
"There's a tremendous need to get away from the career politicians who are bought and sold by the PACs," Gill said Monday at a campaign stop at the Planned Parenthood Health Center in Bloomington.
Asked about those remarks in a telephone conversation, Johnson said Gill's allegations have no merit and that he has had one of the most independent voting records in all of Congress.
"I would defy Dr. Gill or anyone else to point out any vote or action of mine that was compelled by anything other than what's best for the citizens of this district," Johnson said.
While Gill may lack political experience, Johnson said, "I think he's a very sincere man who cares about what he's trying to do. I'm just not sure he's aware how in over his head he is."