David Gill was endorsed this morning by national and Champaign County National Organization for Women. Gill is the first non-incumbent male congressional candidate in the country to be endorsed by NOW PAC in the 2012 election cycle. In Illinois Congressional primaries, only Gill and Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth have received NOW PAC endorsements.
Gill was endorsed because he is a "champion for choice." Gill is the only candidate in the 13th District Democratic primary who is fully committed to reproductive rights and supports equal rights for the LGBT community, another important issue for NOW.
"David has been there for us on the issue of women's reproductive rights," said Champaign NOW president and former Urbana Alderman Ruth Wyman. "Anyone concerned about women's rights should make it a priority to get David elected to Congress."
When asked by the Springfield Journal-Register if he was pro-choice, Gill's opponent Matthew Goetten said he has "always chosen life." Goetten has been silent over recent attacks by pro-life forces on Planned Parenthood.
"Choice and women's reproductive rights are under attack as never before. My opponent may be silent on the issue of women's rights, but I will fight to preserve access to contraception, women's health screenings and a woman's right to choose," Gill said. "Matt Goetten may think these are controversial issues that he should avoid, but I think they're the cornerstone of the progressive movement," the Bloomington ER Doctor said.
Gill spokesman Mike Richards, a Champaign County Democratic party official, said, "Matt Goetten may think he's being clever selling Illinois women down the river, but he's making himself all but unelectable this fall if he wins this primary. This seat is unwinnable if a candidate can't get Democrats motivated to vote."
The endorsement follows endorsements from prominent Illinois and 13th District women leaders such as Dawn Clark Netsch, Sheila Simon Chief of Staff DK Hirner, state representative Naomi Jakobsson and former state senator Deanna Demuzio.