SYCAMORE (Heartland Newsfeed) – To date, 32 state lawmakers have announced in the past few months that they have resigned or will not run for re-election in 2018, including state representative Robert Pritchard (R-Hinckley), who has served in the Illinois House of Representatives since 2002.
Four candidates are currently running in an open race to fill the seat in the 70th House district and are preparing for the March 20 primary, as well as the November 6 general election.
Currently seeking the Republican Party nomination is lone candidate and State Farm agent Jeff Keicher. Keicher has encountered a large number of customers who have decided to leave Illinois as an insurance agent.
“The top reason that they cite is the tax burden in Illinois, and they don’t see it getting better,” Keicher said. “I’m committed to run because of the tax burden that the citizens in the state are facing.”
He also states that the economy which has become stagnant over many years has been hobbling resources with over-regulation, excessively high taxes and financial uncertainty.
“I want an Illinois where working in government means you understand that you are not using resources or revenues, but that you are using ‘other people’s money’ each and every time you make a decision to spend,” he said. “An Illinois where we see a misuse of the taxpayers’ resources as an injustice, not just the way it is.”
There are currently two candidates seeking the Democratic Party nomination: DeKalb County Board member Paul Stoddard and DeKalb CUSD #428 board secretary Howard Solomon.
Stoddard, an associate professor at Northern Illinois University, said his intention to run is to try to make Springfield a little more responsive to the people.
“I’m tired of the way we do politics in Illinois and nationally, so I wanted to run and see if we couldn’t try some things to change the tone,” he said.
Stoddard has served on the county board for the past decade, citing one of the first things he attempted to change was the governing policy that only a representative of the majority party on the board can head all seven committees. The board has since shifted to a proportional representation systems, which allows minority members to determine how many committee chairmanships they can hold.
“I have a history of working to try to make the system fairer for everyone involved,” Stoddard said. “It’s important to do that as a majority, because you’d be giving up something to make a fairer system.”
Stoddard would like to focus on ending gerrymandering, providing infrastructure and an educated workforce to attract out-of-state businesses.
Solomon had made his announcement not too long after Stoddard’s announcement. While he agrees with a lot of Stoddard’s positions, he states one thing separating him from his opponent: his loose affiliation with the Democratic Party.
“I have no intention of outspending my opponent in either the primary or the general election,” he said. “I want to win hearts, not raise funds.”
Solomon’s campaign business card features an upside-down mule to represent his independence, affirming a belief that strong unions are an asset and not a liability.
“I recognize Social Security and pensions wouldn’t be coming my way if it were not for the people in unions who worked for livable conditions in this country,” Solomon said. “I get tired of the union bashing that has presumed that paying people well is going to break their personal bank when I so firmly believe that this is not the case.”
The final candidate seeking the seat is John Eldon Mathey, chairman of the Libertarian Party of DeKalb County.
Mathey stated in a press release that Springfield has restricted the freedoms of individuals, families and business all over the state and is prepared to show residents of the district that they have Libertarian values.
“They are Libertarian – they just don’t know it yet,” Mathey said in the release.
Mathey is a 2012 graduate of Sycamore High School and attended Kishwaukee Community College. He currently works for the family business, Mathey Masonry Inc. and currently resides with his family in Cortland.
On his campaign website, his reasoning for running for office involves seeing value in serving his community and sees the weaknesses that can be strengthened in the district he and his family have always loved.
“Not only do I understand the issues, but I am invested in this community,” Mathey said. “I want to be the voice of the 70th District and take our values to Springfield.”
Mathey was to see value in his community and do his part, whether through school programs, church outreach or other forms of community service as an attempt to make his community a better place.
“As a homeowner and a parent raising children in the district, I am looking toward the future and I want to see that our future will not be forgotten.” he said. “I am that person that will not put your needs on the back burner.”
Mathey will await confirmation by the voting body of the Libertarian Party of Illinois at their nominating convention next March at the Parke Regency Hotel in Bloomington and will begin his ballot access campaign March 27.
Established political party candidates will have between November 27 and December 4 to file their petitions for the March 20 primary. Election and candidate information is available on the DeKalb County clerk’s website.