Patton, Senate candidate and Edwardsville mayor, optimistic about city's future
Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton, who has launched a third-party run for the 56th Senate District, sees the city’s future as being inextricably tied to the deeds of its young people.
"The youth are learning what kind of community we have, and that it's important to volunteer and contribute at an early age,” the Edwardsville Intelligencer reported Patton saying during his recent State of the City address. “It's just tremendous."
During the speech, Patton essentially spent equal time basking in the city's continued economic growth and the special role its youngsters have played in the city’s overall, feel-good resurgence.
Patton made special mention of the Edwardsville High School Student Council and the role students there have recently played in hosting parties such as at the Cedarhurst Residential Facility and for their "Adopt a Resident for Christmas" campaign at Edwardsville Rehabilitation Center, the Intelligencer reported.
Recently, students have also held fundraisers for a suicide hotline service and for the Glen/Ed Pantry. Patton also signaled out the Edwardsville High School Band for praise, raving that is "another group that is just off-the-charts good," according to the Intelligencer.
Patton pointed out the school’s marching band recently attracted more than 7,000 people to the Tiger Ambush Classic, and the Annual Craft Fair brought in more than 6,000.
The EHS orchestra has recently performed at St. Cecilia's Fall Festival, the Edwardsville Art Fair, Ruth's House Grand Opening and at a Veterans Day breakfast at EHS, Patton noted.
"Just to go around and cheer up and brighten up the lives of some of our residents that are staying in nursing homes and assisted living centers, it really means a lot," Patton said.
Even in the face of all his mayoral duties, Patton recently found the time to formally launch his third-party run for the Senate seat in the 56th District. His wherewithal to get back on the ballot was on full-display after a challenge to his eligibility left him on the outside looking in.
“I’ve been trying for five months now to get my name back on the ballot ever since (House Speaker) Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) and his Democratic cronies conspired to kick me off,” Patton recently told Metro East Sun of his motivation for launching the Downstate United party. “It gets me back on the ballot; it’s not a reflection of me not still standing behind the Republican policies I always have.”
After announcing his candidacy six months ago, Patton was removed from the GOP primary ballot after he signed a petition for Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville), who was seeking to retain her seat in the Democratic primary. Illinois law stipulates that a candidate cannot sign petitions for different parties.
A dentist by profession, he told the Metro East Sun that Stuart has been one of his patients for the last 23 years and he signed one of her petitions after one of her relatives came by his office looking for signatures.
The 56th Senate District includes all or parts of Edwardsville, Alton, Glen Carbon, Bethalto, Caseyville, Collinsville, East Alton, Elsah, Fairview Heights, Hartford, Godfrey, Granite City, Madison, Maryville, O’Fallon, Pontoon Beach, Roxana, Shiloh, South Roxana, Swansea and Wood River.