Lieberman challenges Gabel’s re-election bid
Family: Husband Ivan, daughter Lilah
Education: BA major in anthropology Beloit College, Wisconsin; M.S.P.H. (Master of Science degree in Public Health), University of Illinois Chicago, School of Public Health; Masters degree in Health Law, Loyola University Law School, Chicago
Education: University of Illinois, economics degree; Loyola Law School, law degree.
Updated: November 26, 2012 6:52AM
WILMETTE — Illinois State Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-18, is seeking a second term against attorney Eric Lieberman.
The 18th state house district includes all or parts of Evanston (where both candidates live), Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka and Glencoe.
Both candidates say they’ll focus on improving Illinois’ stagnant economy, and solving Its pension program funding crises.
Lieberman said he is running to fight what he called the state’s culture of corruption.
Gabel’s background is in health. She worked with Planned Parenthood before becoming co-director of the Chicago Women’s Health Center from 1980 to 1987. Since 1988 she has been executive director of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition. She was a legislative aide to then Chicago alderman Luis Gutierrez.
She won a Democratic primary in 2010 to replace former 18th State Rep. Julie Hamos. She was appointed before the Nov. 2010 election, after Hamos left the seat early to take a state job, then won her first full term unopposed.
Gabel is vice-chair of the appropriations committee human services subcommittee. She serves on several others, including mass transit, small business empowerment and workforce development, and health and health care disparities,
Lieberman is a former City News Bureau reporter, and the former CEO of software company Firstlogic, Inc. He was a Democratic precinct committeeman in DuPage County, and ran in 1988 as a Democrat against then-DuPage County State’s Attorney Jim Ryan.
Lieberman said Gabel’s health advocacy background doesn’t equip her to tackle economic challenges. He said he’ll improve the state’s economy by employing tactics he used in turning around Firstlogic Inc., and successfully selling it. He also said he would make the state’s business practices more honest and transparent.
Gabel said she’s successfully managed a private nonprofit with a budget of $1.6 million. She says legislators must try to stabilize the economy: “We have one of the largest economies in the world, a diverse and educated health workforce situated in a major transportation hub.” She said she is forming an economic development committee with business and academic experts, in part to look at how to keep business in state.
Lieberman decried politicians who, he said, blame their inaction on political partisanship: “when I was a CEO, I couldn’t go to the board of directors and say, ‘Sorry, the company’s failing because departments won’t work together.’ Voters shouldn’t put up with that in Springfield or Washington.”
Gabel touted her ability to work with her GOP counterpart on the appropriations for human services committee and said “my main strength is that I work well with partnerships and coalitions. Working together is the best approach for solving our difficulties and I work across partisan lines.”
For more information on the candidates, visit their websites, or go to votesmart.org/