BERWYN – A radiologist with an office in Berwyn, Dr. Robert Marshall has declared that he intends to seek the Republican nomination to run against incumbent U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin in 2020.
Running for office is something of a personal mission for Marshall, 76, of Burr Ridge.
He ran for state representative in 1988, governor in 1990, state senate in 1992, U.S. Senate in 1996, congress in 1998 and 2016; and governor in 2018.
The only time Marshall won – other than for Burr Ridge village trustee – was in a Republican primary in 1998 for the 3rd Congressional District. But he was trounced in the general election by incumbent Democrat William Lipinski.
Sometimes Marshall ran as a Democrat.
In his failed 2016 primary in the 6th Congressional District, he billed himself as an Obama Democrat who campaigned door to door in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio in 2007 and 2008.
Marshall said he has always had a consistent platform.
“I am conservative on taxes, opposing tax increases, and being moderate on social issues, no matter which party I run in,” Marshall said. “When I ran against [Gov. JB] Pritzker, I was opposed to the progressive income tax. I have always stayed consistent with the basic platform.”
A Vietnam veteran who served in the Army, Marshall worked at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn and currently works at Oak Forest Health Center.
He said he supports keeping Medicaid to provide health care for the poor.
“What we need and what we are getting from Mr. [Donald] Trump is jobs. When people have a job, they can go buy health care, or get it as a fringe benefit,” Marshall said. “If I win the primary, one of the main issues I will stress is what’s more important, having a job or some sort of government program that supposedly is going to protect you? … The job is better.”
He said his platform on abortion is pro-life, but accepted that the Supreme Court decided that abortion is legal through the second trimester.
“My stance on abortion for 30 years has been the same. It’s kept legal by the Supreme Court, which is determined by viability at 34 weeks,” he said.
He supports keeping the Hyde Amendment, which does not allow for public funds to be spent on abortions.
Marshall said he supports gun rights.
“Guns are very strictly regulated right now,” Marshall said. “They should punish criminals more and bring capital punishment back in Illinois.”
Marshall acknowledged that U.S. Attorney General William Barr was reinstating federal executions.
“My response is, ‘That’s a good idea. Bring it back to Illinois,’ ” Marshall said.
As to the crisis on the southern border with parents separated from their children and kept in detention, Marshall said they should be reunited – and sent back.
“It is time for us to have control over our borders and control immigration and time to limit it,” Marshall said. “People in other parts of the world will have to understand that.”
When he ran for governor last year, one of Marshall’s platforms was to split Illinois into three states: Chicago, the collar counties and downstate.
Since then, he said he’s changed his mind and decided the state should be divided into two states, “Chicago and whoever wants to go with Chicago.”
“And all the rest of the state would be uniquely divided between Democrats and Republicans,” Marshall said.
This campaign, like his past campaigns, will be self-funded, Marshall said.
According to his filings with the Federal Election Commission for the 2016 race, Marshall loaned himself $24,210 and received one $500 contribution. In the 2018 campaign, he loaned himself $2,000. So far for the current campaign, Marshall loaned himself $30,000.
Information about Marshall’s campaign is available online at www.citizensforrobertmarshall.net.