With Election Day almost upon him, 30th District State Sen. Terry Link said he finds himself playing chairman more than candidate.
Link, a Democrat who serves as the majority caucus whip in the senate, said he's been spending much of his time recently looking at other candidates' campaigns and trying to help them out.
"This last week, we're making sure we get the canvassers out and hitting all of the houses for all of the candidates," said Link. "We're making sure we get all of the votes, and coordinating it for the president all the day down."
Link, who was first elected to the senate in November 1996, is being challenged for his seat by Republican Don Castella.
Link said the final week before the election is all about coordination. It's about making sure brochures get out one last time, but also making sure volunteers aren't going to the same houses—especially since voters have already been inundated with fliers and phone calls in recent months.
"You want to make sure you're not irritating people," said Link.
On Election Day, the focus will be on making sure people actually go to the polls.
"I always tell people, no matter what you've done for the last 18 months or however long you've been campaigning, it means nothing if on Election Day, you don't get people out to vote," said Link, adding that Election Day will be spent distributing door hangers, knocking on doors and reminding people to vote.
"I feel pretty good," Link said of his confidence level going into the election. He doesn't pay much attention to polls that try to predict who will win. "I use the old poll that I've always used and it's called my gut."
He said a guy pulled up next to him just a few days ago in traffic and said, "Senator, I'm voting for you—but I'm voting for Romney."
"At least he told me the truth," said Link. "There are a lot of indicators out there about how people are voting. I truly think you're going to see a lot of things happen."
When voters are considering whether to choose Link or his opponent, Link wants voters to remember that he has "been somebody that's been a moderate individual who's never been an extremist on any issue.
"I think that's what people want from any Republican or Democrat," said Link. He said people want a legislator who will make a judgment on an issue and not have a "my way or the highway attitude. I think I've shown that when I was in the minority or the majority."
Link said any legislation he's passed has been done in a bi-partisan way.
"I think that speaks volumes about how I do things when I'm in Springfield," said Link.
Looking back at his political service thus far, Link said he's most proud of "smoke-free Illinois, without a doubt." He wants it stated on his tombstone "that I was the chief sponsor and that I was able to pass it. That alone will have saved more lives than probably any piece of legislation that I have ever done."
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