Illinois State Candidates - Upcoming Elections

State Senator - 15th District

Napoleon Harris

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Napoleon Harris III was born Feb. 25, 1979, and grew up in Dixmoor, Illinois. Harris was an honor student and a Tri-Star athlete at Thornton Township High School in Harvey. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Northwestern University. Later, Harris received his postgraduate certificate from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business Management.

Harris is a former football player. He played college football at Northwestern and was drafted by the Oakland Raiders. He was the Raiders’ starting middle linebacker in Super Bowl XXXVII. Harris also played for the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs, for a total of seven NFL seasons.

Senator Harris married Nicole Bunton in 2006; they have two sons—Napoleon Harris IV and Noah, and one daughter—Nahla.

Accomplishments:

  • Napoleon B. Harris III serves as the State Senator from Illinois’ 15th District. He represents parts of both Cook and Will Counties, covering the 9th Ward of Chicago and Blue Island, Calumet City, part of Oak Forest and Homewood, and Steger. The district also includes the cities of Dolton, Dixmoor, East Hazel Crest, Riverdale, South Holland, Harvey, Midlothian, Glenwood, Markham, Posen, Crete and Monee.

  • Harris’ general focus during his first and second sessions was improving education and the local business climate, improving neighborhoods and bringing jobs to the 15th Senate District. Public safety is one of Harris’ deepest concerns. Harris fought for the creation of a violent crimes task force in Englewood, IL in order to reduce the level of violent crime throughout the community, while studying the genesis and effects of this crime.

  • Harris believes that keeping kids in school is essential to future success for our state. Expulsions and suspensions have become an all-too-easy alternative to in-school behavior rehabilitation. Senator Harris has supported legislation to reduce the number of harsh penalties that keep kids out of school and force them onto the streets.

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State Senator - 17th District

Elgie Sims

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An attorney and second-generation small business owner, Elgie's commitment to hard work began at an early age while working in his family's business, where he learned that "nothing in life is given; it must be earned." Throughout college and during his time working in Springfield, he often commuted from downstate Illinois to help run his family's business on Chicago's South Side, he did the same while putting himself through law school.

Born in Chicago, Sims holds a B.A. in Political Science from Illinois State University, an M.P.A. from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He and his wife reside in Chicago's Chatham neighborhood with their two daughters.

Accomplishments:

  • As a State Senator, Elgie continues to put families and communities first. During his time in the Illinois General Assembly, Elgie has championed legislation focused on improving the quality of our schools, strengthening the middle class by creating good jobs, bringing fiscal discipline to Springfield and passing common sense public safety initiatives with the aim of making our streets safer.

  • Elgie focuses on creating economic opportunities and good paying jobs. Recently, he passed a law requiring the State of Illinois to create a plan to address the crisis of high unemployment among young people. He also worked to pass a law to help revitalize the local economy by allowing low-interest loans to small, minority and women-owned businesses working on transportation projects for the State of Illinois.

  • Widely regarded for his legislative knowledge and ability to forge compromise, Elgie led efforts in the House for Illinois to become the first state in the nation to pass legislation to improve community and law enforcement relations. The Police and Community Relations Improvement Act has been used as model legislation on improving relations between law enforcement and the communities they protect and serve. The Act establishes and includes statewide protocols for the implementation of body cameras and training requirements for law enforcement officers.

  • Elgie continues to make a positive impact on every community he is a part of. As he was always taught: “to whom much is given, much is required.” He remains active in many civic organizations whose mission is to improve the quality of life for the communities they serve. As a community leader, he has worked to provide scholarships and books to children in need and worked to make our communities safer.

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Candidate - State Senator - 21st District

Laura Ellman

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Laura grew up nearby, in Hanover Park, and graduated from Elgin High School. She has worked all over the district in Lisle, Warrenville, Wheaton, and Naperville. Laura currently lives in Naperville with her husband Pete, a musician, and their two children – Lizzie, a rising senior at Naperville Central and Barrett, who just graduated from Lincoln Junior High.

Laura was raised in a working-class household in Hanover Park and Bartlett, and grew up believing that education and hard work were part of the American Dream.

Laura has a love for learning and solving problems. She is the first child to go to college in both her parents’ families. After graduating from Grinnell College with a degree in mathematics, she earned a masters degree in applied statistics at the University of Iowa.

Accomplishments:

  • As an assessor at Argonne National Laboratory, Laura Ellman knows what it takes to solve complex problems. Professionally, Laura has more than 25 years of experience working in manufacturing and engineering and dealing with regulations and policies. She is also dedicated to helping her community through her work on the Naperville Fair Housing Commission, Toastmasters, and as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Feed My Starving Children, and as an ESL tutor.

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State Senate - 42nd District

Linda Holmes

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State Senator Linda Holmes was elected to represent the 42nd legislative district in 2006. As a former small business owner, she brings a business-conscious perspective to the legislature, ensuring state government protects the hard-working people of Illinois.

An Aurora resident since 1983, Holmes has been extremely active serving on a number of neighborhood committees and community organizations. Prior to being elected as state senator, Holmes served for two years on the Kane County Board. Her experience on the county board shaped her strong belief in local control and her advocacy for letting local government and its residents have a voice in making decisions that impact their community.

Accomplishments:

  • Holmes has been the Chief Sponsor on a myriad of legislation during her time in office that encourages job growth and impacts education, health care, veterans' issues and the environment. As a former owner of a remodeling company, Holmes knows firsthand how important sound infrastructure and construction are to our State. The construction industry provides good-paying jobs for hundreds of thousands of Illinois working families. Holmes was a vocal leader behind the $31 billion capital construction project that passed in 2009 and continues to advocate for community improvement projects to repair roads, bridges, hospitals and schools.

  • As a member of the Classrooms First Commission, Holmes has attended hearings to gather information about consolidation and the best practices to maximize efficiency within school districts. She has also sponsored legislation to update physical fitness standards and promote physical education programs in our schools throughout Illinois.

  • Having lived with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) for over 20 years, Holmes is very concerned about health care issues in Illinois and remains dedicated to providing individuals with sufficient physical therapy access, ensuring a healthier lifestyle and better quality of life. She feels very fortunate that she is able to lead a healthy and active life and remains passionate about supporting those who have faced physical disability. Holmes has worked closely with the MS Society and sponsored several bills, including legislation that requires hospitals and nursing homes to adopt safe patient handling policies.

  • Holmes is a dedicated and hard-working public official, currently serving as Chairperson of the Senate State Government and Veterans' Affairs committee. She also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Senate Labor committee and is an active member of the Senate Local Government, Agriculture and Conservation, and Gaming committees.

PhoneIcon630-770-7912emailIconinfo@lindaholmesforsenate.comwebsiteIconLink to Website

State Representative - 29th District

Thaddeus Jones

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In the spring of 1997, Thaddeus M. Jones was elected as the first African American Alderman in the 100 year history of the City of Calumet City. He has been successfully re-elected four times, and is Chairman of the Ordinance and Resolutions Committee of the City of Calumet City. Jones has served as President of the Thornton Township Young Democrats, Trustee of South Suburban College and is a former Calumet City Library board member.

He is active in many organization including, but not limited to, his Jones Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to feeding the homeless and providing scholarships to local students. A graduate of Bloom Trail High School, he also attended South Suburban College. Thaddeus graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. Thaddeus M. Jones was born August 24, 1970, to William and Devola Jones. He has eight siblings and a host of nieces and nephews.

In addition Thaddeus is a proud father and parent. He has dedicated his entire life to public service and prides himself on working with many organizations to service the needs of the community. Jones also is the President/CEO of The Jones Foundation and Time Entertainment, Inc., an entertainment company devoted to inspiring young professionals in the entertainment and business industry.

Accomplishments:

  • Rep. Jones worked with teachers’ groups and the Illinois State Board of Education, to pass legislation creating a pilot program allowing schools in the 29th Representative District listed on the academic watch list for two or more years to implement a year-round academic calendar, subject to federal funding. His legislation would lengthen the current 180 day schedule to 215 days for the schools included in the pilot program.

  • Understanding that we must be fiscally responsible and everyone should do their part of help cut costs, Rep. Jones supported this legislation and voted along with other lawmakers to work 12 days without pay. He continues to lead in the forefront of this movement, fighting to have government work for you, our local residents.

  • This historic reform is geared to improve education and the success of our children. The best teachers are essential to stay in our schools, and Rep. Jones worked tirelessly to pass landmark reforms to the state’s education system. This new legislation includes: Teacher performance and qualifications as primary consideration in layoffs, recalls and teaching assignments, rather than only seniority. Teacher performance is the key factor in tenure and certification decisions. Teachers must receive high marks in evaluation in order to receive tenure. Action may be taken to revoke or suspend teachers’ certificates if they consistently receive unsatisfactory evaluations. The dismissal hearing process is streamlined so poorly performing teachers can be dismissed more quickly.

  • Protecting Patients’ Rights is important to Rep. Jones and he fought to pass a ‘Patients’ Right to Know Act’ to provide consumers with a tool to make informed health care decisions. This legislation paves the way for a searchable internet database available to the public with information on Illinois’ 44,000 licensed physicians and surgeons, including convictions for felonies or other serious crimes, disciplinary actions, license revocations and medical malpractice judgments.

  • Rep. Jones has been attentive to the fact that victims of domestic violence consistently live in fear and that some of their attackers may still have legal access to firearms if the conviction came before 1997. He helped pass this new legislation that allows State Police to revoke or deny the FOID card of any person who has ever been convicted of domestic battery or aggravated domestic battery.

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State Representative - 34th District

Nicholas Smith

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Receiving his primary and secondary education from the Chicago Public School system, Nick's attended Robert A. Black Magnet School, Whitney Young Magnet High School, Florida A&M University, Olive Harvey College, and Chicago State University. He was conferred a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and has taken graduate courses in community and economic development, higher education administration and briefly studied law at Northern Illinois University

Since 1994, Nick has volunteered his time and energy to serving others. Improving the quality of life for residents on the Southside of Chicago has always been his passion.

Accomplishments:

  • Nick's civic involvement began in Chicago's 6th Ward when, John Steele was Alderman. There he met many people from the community, one in particular Barack Obama who administered his deputy registrar training class. From that moment a permanent volunteer was found in Nick

  • His civic activities continued with Freddrenna Lyle volunteering in the 6th Ward. Nick assisted in the formation of the 87th & Cottage Grove TIF advisory council and spearheaded the SOAR community development corporation. He has served as a commissioner for the Roseland Medical District, and on the Chicago Police Department 5th District Advisory Council. Throughout his years he has visited Springfield on many occasions, as a guest of the recently retired State Senator Donne Trotter or as an advocate for Chicago State University.

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State Rep - 38th District

Debbie Meyers-Martin

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I am a candidate for the 38th District, Illinois state representative. I’m a 38-year resident of the 38th District and I’m a former mayor of the village of Olympia Fields. I currently work at the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office in community affairs. I’m the former president of South Suburban Mayors and Managers, a council of government of forty-four south suburban towns. I’m a former legislative liaison to the 29th District state representative there, years ago. And I am running because I would love to be that strong voice for the people of the 38th District.

Accomplishments:

  • My top priorities as I’ve traveled the district: I’ve heard from people who are very concerned about high property taxes so I certainly want to be working towards property tax reform. Certainly they are interested in economic development and the revenue that that would provide to them would allow for better education, better housing, better roads. So economic development for sure and then also health care, there’s a great need for health care expanded health care in the Southland. So those are just a few of my concerns and why I am running for this position.

  • As State Representative, I want to champion Economic Development in the 38th District. I want to reach out to the chambers to support existing small business while working with state agencies like The Department of Commerce and Economic Development and the Illinois Retailers Association to highlight the benefits of locating in the 38th District. Major boost to successful Economic Development in my district would address so many of the needs of the municipalities and therefore the residents of the 38th District.

PhoneIcon708-208-1028emailIconcitizensfordebbie@gmail.comwebsiteIconLink to Website

State Representative - 80th District

Anthony Deluca

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As the mayor of Chicago Heights, DeLuca made building a more responsive and fiscally responsible government a top priority, an effort he will duplicate in Springfield. As Mayor, DeLuca reduced the number of salaried employees by twenty percent and reorganized the city-funded health care plan to mirror the private-sector. This move made the plan more efficient and financially sustainable. These measures helped Chicago Heights budget remain solvent. To expand economic growth and create private sector jobs, DeLuca engineered a policy that sold off unused city-owned property to private entities to get them back on the tax rolls. The goal was to attract businesses and create jobs in the community. It worked. In fact, at a time when the unemployment rate in many Chicago area communities was rising, it was decreasing in Chicago Heights, thanks in part to this initiative.

Born and raised in Chicago Heights, DeLuca graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School and Elmhurst College. He and his wife, Sarah, are the parents of three children. The 80th District spans South Suburban Cook County, including all of Chicago Heights, Crete, Sauk Village, South Chicago Heights, Steger and parts of Beecher, Flossmoor, Glenwood, Homewood, Lansing, Lynwood, Olympia Fields, Park Forest, and University Park,. The district also includes all of Crete Township in Will County.

Accomplishments:

  • DeLuca is a longtime supporter of a third regional airport in the Southland, and the construction of the Illiana Expressway/Tollway which would connect Interstate 55 with Interstate 65 for improved transportation in our region. DeLuca remains focused on the development of the Metra Southeast Service Line running from Chicago to Crete.

  • As a believer in open and honest government that is accountable to taxpayers, DeLuca will use his position in the General Assembly to fight for ethics reforms. In fact, DeLuca is a 2010 recipient of the Best Legislative Voting Record Award by the Board of Directors of the Independent Voters of Illinois for his independent voting record emphasizing open, honest government.

  • DeLuca is committed to creating safer communities and stronger neighborhoods. He created a new alert system in Chicago Heights that informs residents of emergencies in the community, and a crime-free housing ordinance to improve public safety and the quality of life.

  • DeLuca is a recipient of the 2004 Italo-American National Union David Award, the 2006 IAET Civic Pride Award, the 2010 Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Leaders Under 40, The 2010 Cook County Farm Bureau Friend of Agriculture Award, and the 2010 Best Legislative Voting Record by the Independent Voters of Illinois, the 2011 Highest Voting Record Supporting the Agricultural Community from Will County Farm Bureau and the 2011 Public Official of the Year by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police (ILACP).

PhoneIcon708-672-0200websiteIconLink to Website

State Representative - 84th District

Stephanie Kifowit

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A veteran who volunteered to serve her country, Stephanie has made it a priority to honor her fellow military veterans. When the city of Aurora cut its support for the Aurora Fourth of July Parade because of budgetary constraints, Stephanie spearheaded the effort to save the parade with American Legion Post 84. The parade was a huge success, drawing over 10,000 area residents to the event to honor our nation’s history and local veterans. She is a member of AmVets Aurora Post 103 and American Legion Aurora Post 84, Fox Valley Marines Detachment #1233, the Women Marine Association and her local Veteran’s Breakfast Group.

Stephanie attended Northern Illinois University and graduated with a B.S. in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration. Her husband Steve, also is an Northern Illinois University graduate and an Army veteran. He currently is a Professor of Mathematics at Prairie State College. Stephanie has lived in Aurora for sixteen years and has two children, Sabrina (age 14) and Samuel (age 9), who both attend school in East Aurora District 131. The family is complete with Steve’s daughter, Alexandria, who is a graduate of West Aurora High School. Stephanie is a proud step-grandparent to Alexandria’s sons William (age 5) and Jonathan (age 3).

The 84th Representative District contains parts of Aurora, Naperville, Montgomery and Oswego.

Accomplishments:

  • As an alderman, Stephanie Kifowit has focused on balancing Aurora’s budget, improving infrastructure in her ward and promoting local business growth. The lack of fiscal responsibility among the career politicians in Springfield is the top reason Stephanie decided to run for state representative. She has worked as a registered Financial Advisor and will use her financial expertise to fix the budget and stop the state from wasting your tax dollars.

PhoneIcon630-499-8784emailIconStephanie@StephanieKifowit.orgwebsiteIconLink to Website

State Representative - 85th District

John Connor

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After graduating from Notre Dame, Connor attended law school at the University of Illinois in Champaign. After a brief stint in private practice on the island of Saipan near Guam, he returned to Will County permanently in 1997 as his younger brother Matt was losing his battle with malignant melanoma.

His father Charlie’s public service included being Chief Judge of the Twelfth Circuit, followed by mayor of Joliet, and Connor followed that example and joined the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor.

His wife Julie, a Lockport Township High School graduate, received her special education degree from Northern Illinois University, and their children Jack and Charlie attend St. Dennis School in Lockport, while their oldest son Colin is at Lockport Township High School.

Accomplishments:

  • Before filling the vacancy left by Emily McAsey in the 85th district, John Connor was a career prosecutor for 20 years and the Major Crimes Chief at the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office. He prosecuted several high profile cases during the course of his career: the Drew Peterson case, the “Hickory Street” stranglings, and pretrial proceedings in the Christopher Vaughn “family annihilator” case.

  • Anticipating that the Peterson case might require additional resources, Connor drafted an order for the first Will County special grand convened in decades in November of 2007, immediately after the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. That grand jury indicted Peterson on the charges Connor presented in 2009 for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

  • Connor also used his experience with computer forensic evidence as both a local prosecutor and an Assistant Attorney General in the High Tech Crimes Bureau to design guidelines for the State's Attorney's Computer Crimes Unit, which executed over 100 search warrants and convictions for child exploitation crimes. He also oversaw Title III wiretap operations, state overhears, and cold case investigations during his tenure. An advocate of the grand jury as a citizen’s tool for justice, he presented many investigations and their witnesses to grand juries for their assistance and involvement during his tenure as a prosecutor.

emailIconrepconnor@gmail.com

State Representative - 86th District

Larry Walsh, Jr.

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Larry Walsh Jr. has been serving the 86th District since April 30, 2012 after being appointed to replace long-serving State Rep. Jack McGuire. Walsh is a lifelong resident of Elwood, IL. Larry is married to Theresa Walsh (Stringham) and has three children: Katie 18, Joshua 8, and Caleb 7. He graduated from Elwood School and then Providence Catholic High School and also attended Joliet Junior College. The 86th Representative District lies within the townships of Joliet, Jackson, Channahon, Lockport and Troy in Will County. The majority of the district is within the towns of Joliet, Rockdale, Crest Hill, Elwood and Channahon.

Walsh has been active in Jackson Township for many years, serving on the Jackson Township Board as Trustee for the last 7 years. He also is involved with the Jackson Township Sportsmen Club, United Way, and Guide Dogs of America. In addition to his involvement in township government, Walsh helps organize holiday food drives and gift deliveries for families during the holiday seasons. Walsh also has been a very proud supporter of area community groups such as Jackson Twilighters, Elwood History Club, and Meals on Wheals programs.

Walsh has been a member of the Internal Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Local #851. He worked his way up through the union, where he was Chairman of the Negotiation Committee before taking a full-time position as Secretary Treasurer of IAM District Lodge 8. In the Secretary Treasurer's position, Walsh oversaw $5 million in yearly revenues and managed all the finances of the Lodge, running a balanced budget each year while expanding its surplus.

PhoneIcon815-641-6631emailIconlwalshjur@hotmail.comwebsiteIconLink to Website

State Representative - 98th District

Natalie Manley

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Natalie Manley is a certified public accountant specializing in government auditing and budgeting, making sure taxpayers are protected. She has never sought a political office before and is am deeply concerned about where Illinois is heading and believe we need someone in Springfield to balance the books, get the state’s fiscal house in order, and push for much-needed reforms that will improve our economy and create jobs.

She is the product of a hardworking, single mother, who – at 75 – is a continuing inspiration to me, and all those who meet her. Natalie understands the value of a quality education. In 1990, as a newly divorced and a single mother, she wase new sole provider for my family, without any child support. She needed to find a way to make a better living and provide an opportunity for my child. So, she enrolled at Joliet Junior College (JJC) in Joliet, Illinois. She took out student loans and worked two part-time jobs on the night shift to afford school and caring for her infant.

After graduating from JJC, she earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from the University of St Francis, in Joliet and then earned my Certified Public Accountant certification, reaching the top of her profession. She is now registered and licensed as a CPA in the state of Illinois. She is also a member of the Illinois CPA Society and the AICPA. Natalie has been part of the professional staff at Wermer, Rogers, Doran, and Ruzon LLC since 1999. As a Senior Staff Accountant, her work experience includes tax accounting for individuals and businesses, auditing for governments and non-profit organizations, budgeting, and cash management services.

PhoneIcon815-407-7272emailIconnataliemanley98@gmail.com

P.O. Box 4242 | Joliet, IL 60434 | Email: members@willcountydemocrats.com

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