Illinois State Candidates - Upcoming Elections

Candidate for Governor

JB Pritzker

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I’m a husband. I’ve been married to M.K., the most terrific woman in the world, for almost 24 years. She is my partner in this endeavor, and in everything I’ve done. She’s the love of my life.

I’m the father of two great kids. My 14-year-old daughter, Teddi, is a track and cross country runner (she obviously gets her athletic abilities from me). My son, Donny, is 12 — a total math whiz and a football fanatic. I’m so proud of them.

I’m an entrepreneur. Not all that long ago, Illinois was way behind when it came to creating technology jobs — and we were missing out on the high-paying jobs those businesses create. I led the creation of a non-profit small business incubator called 1871, which in the last five years is responsible for creating 6,000 new jobs in Illinois, and we’re now ranked among the top ten tech hubs in the world.

Accomplishments:

  • I’m a passionate advocate for early childhood development. I believe there isn’t a better investment we can make as a society than to invest in our youngest children. Study after study shows how important education is for kids age three and under, which is why I’ve become a national leader in supporting early childhood education and helped improve teacher training and invested in innovation here in Illinois. I’m also proud of working with some great local non-profit organizations to expand Illinois school breakfast program to 55,000 low-income students, and to change the law so that an additional 175,000 more kids are getting the breakfast they need to start their days off right.

  • I’m a student of history — and know the importance of learning from it. I’m a descendant of Ukrainian Jews, and was proud to work with the local community of Holocaust survivors to open the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Each year, more than 50,000 kids learn to fight bigotry, hatred and intolerance at the center, and thousands of teachers are trained to take those lessons back to their classrooms all across the state so kids will learn to stand up against hate.

  • I believe in justice. My wife and I helped support the Center on Wrongful Convictions, which has become the national leader in rectifying wrongful convictions and did much of the work behind Illinois’s moratorium on capital punishment.

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Candidate for Lt. Governor

Julianna Stratton

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I’m a lifelong Illinoisan so fixing the problems in this state is very personal to me. I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. My dad is a doctor and my mom was a schoolteacher. I’m a proud graduate of Kenwood Academy High School, the University of Illinois, and DePaul University College of Law.

I’m a mother of three wonderful women. My girls make me proud every single day. Tyler, 26, is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Critical Ethnic Studies. She loves to travel and has visited five of the seven continents. Cassidy, 23, is a Marketing Coordinator for a non-profit working to resettle refugees. She’s also quite the fashionista. Ryan, 20, is a junior studying public health and plans to join the Peace Corps in Africa. She also loves otters.

I’m passionate about reforming the criminal justice system and I’ve focused much of my career on this work. As the Director of the Center for Public Safety and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I trained law enforcement on building trust in the communities they serve. Criminal justice reform is a lifelong passion of mine and I know JB shares that passion.

Accomplishments:

  • I’ve spent my life trying to fight for what’s right and I am looking forward to continuing this work with JB. As a state representative, I spend every day fighting for my constituents and as lieutenant governor you will be able to count on me to stand up for you.

  • I run marathons and triathlons – or at least I used to when I had more free time! It has been good practice for politics: the grueling workouts, the long hours swimming alone in cold water, the test of endurance and pure strength of will. There are times you want to give up, and those are the times when you need to dig in and work harder – just like in politics.

  • I am a professional mediator, which means that I know how to bring people together and get things done. I’ve run my own small business for over 20 years. I brought people together to create fair workplaces for everyone and to help our businesses be better neighbors. This isn’t just something I talk about, it’s my life’s work.

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Candidate for IL Attorney General

Kwame Raoul

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Kwame Raoul was born in Chicago to Haitian-born immigrants. A lifelong resident of the Hyde Park/Kenwood area, he completed his undergraduate education at DePaul University and went on to earn a law degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. Kwame started his legal career nearly 25 years ago as a prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and continued to practice as a labor and employment attorney for the City Colleges of Chicago. He currently serves as a partner in the health law group of Quarles & Brady.

Accomplishments:

  • In 2004, Kwame was appointed to fill the vacancy left in the 13th Legislative District by former State Senator Barack Obama’s election to the U.S. Senate. At the state Capitol, he quickly gained the confidence of leaders to handle difficult negotiations and landmark legislation, including the abolition of the death penalty, background checks on private transfers of guns and the strongest voting rights protection in the country.

  • An attorney concerned both with crime victims and the rights of the accused, Kwame has consistently introduced and supported criminal justice reform legislation that makes Illinois not just tough on crime, but smart on crime. He sponsored diversion and second-chance programs, made it easier for juveniles to have their records expunged and pushed through landmark law enforcement reform, including body camera and police training standards. Most recently, he passed a criminal justice reform package aimed at reducing gun violence by cracking down on repeat offenders while making sentences for nonviolent offenders more reasonable. He has also passed bills aimed at fighting the heroin/opioid crisis. Kwame has been recognized for his work to protect victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

  • Kwame’s other achievements in the Senate include expanding opportunities for minority and women-owned financial service firms, helping protect student athletes from brain injuries, eliminating pension ethics loopholes and reforming workers compensation policy. He serves as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

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Candidate for IL Sec. of State

Jesse White

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Jesse White earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Alabama State College (now Alabama State University) in 1957, where he was a two-sport athlete earning all-conference honors in baseball and basketball. In May 1995, White was inducted into the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame. He was an all-city baseball and basketball player at Chicago's Waller High School (now Lincoln Park High School) and was inducted into the Chicago Public League Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in June 1995. In 1999, he was inducted into the Alabama State University Sports Hall of Fame. Born in Alton, Illinois, he now lives on Chicago's near north side.

White served our country as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division and as a member of the Illinois National Guard and Reserve. He played professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs organization, which was followed by a 33-year career with the Chicago public school system as a teacher and administrator.

Accomplishments:

  • Jesse White is Illinois' 37th Secretary of State. White was first elected to the office in 1998 and won landslide victories in 2002, in which he won all 102 counties, and again in 2006 and 2010. On November 4, 2014, White was re-elected to a record-breaking fifth term, winning another landslide victory by a 2-to-1 margin in which he earned over 2.3 million votes statewide — more than 230,000 votes than any other statewide constitutional candidate. White became Illinois' longest serving Secretary of State on May 30, 2014.

  • The Illinois Secretary of State's office is the largest and most diverse office of its kind in the nation, providing more direct services to the people of Illinois than any other public agency. White's office issues state ID cards, vehicle license plates and titles; registers corporations; enforces the Illinois Securities Act; administers the Organ Donor Program; and licenses drivers and maintains driver records. As State Librarian, Secretary White oversees the State Library and literacy programs, and as State Archivist, he maintains records of legal or historic value.

  • Under White's leadership, customer service has been improved through the creative use of technology as well as modernizing and streamlining operations. Wait times in facilities are now shorter than ever before. Illinois has become a national leader in road safety as White strengthened DUI laws, reformed the CDL program and overhauled teen driving guidelines. As a result, traffic fatalities have been reduced, with drunk driving deaths down by 60 percent and teen driving deaths reduced by nearly 50 percent. In 2014, White was inducted into the Illinois High School & College Driver Education Association Hall of Fame.

  • Prior to his election as Secretary of State, White served as Cook County Recorder of Deeds — a job to which he was first elected in 1992 and re-elected in 1996. Before that, he served 16 years in the Illinois General Assembly, representing the most culturally, economically and racially diverse district in Illinois.

  • In 1959, White founded the internationally known Jesse White Tumbling Team to serve as a positive alternative for children residing in and around the Chicago area. Since its inception, more than 17,500 young men and women have performed with the team. White has spent 57 years working as a volunteer with the team to help kids stay away from gangs, drugs, alcohol and smoking, and to help set at-risk youth on the path to success. The program has received international praise. This year the team will make more than 1,500 performances using seven units, consisting of 225 young men and women. Currently, there are 51 members enrolled in college. In 2014, the Chicago Park District opened the Jesse White Community Center and Field House in honor of White's lifelong contributions to the community. In addition, a school in Hazel Crest, IL was recently renamed the Jesse C. White Learning Academy, and a Chicago street was designated Jesse White Way in honor of White.

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Illinois Comptroller

Susana Mendoza

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Susana Mendoza graduated from Bolingbrook High School where she earned All-State and All-Midwest honors in varsity soccer. As such, she became the first female to ever make it onto the Bolingbrook High School Wall of Fame. She attended Northeast Missouri State University, (now Truman State University) on a soccer and academic scholarship, earning All-Midwest honors in soccer and a B.A. in Business Administration.

She is very happily married to her wonderful husband, David Szostak, with whom she is sharing the joy of parenting an amazing 3 year old son named David Quinten Szostak. They live on the City’s northwest side in the historic Portage Park neighborhood.

Accomplishments:

  • Susana A. Mendoza was sworn in for her second term as Chicago City Clerk on May 18, 2015. As the first woman ever elected to the Office of the City Clerk, she successfully transitioned 1.3 million customers away from an inefficient and archaic seasonal Chicago City Vehicle Sticker sales program dating back 105 years, plagued by tremendously long lines and guaranteed headaches, to a streamlined Year-Round-Sales program, modeled after the Illinois Secretary of State’s license plate renewal program. This historic change resulted in better customer service at lower taxpayer cost.

  • As Chicago City Clerk,In her first term, Clerk Mendoza also took on the horrendous puppy mill industry and won. Working closely with animal rights groups, primarily the Puppy Mill Project, Clerk Mendoza spearheaded and passed the Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance, banning Chicago Pet Stores from selling dogs, cats or rabbits unless those animals are sourced from humane shelters or animal rescue organizations. This ordinance effectively shuts off the pipeline of horribly abused puppy mill animals coming into the City, and places Chicago as a national leader in humane and compassionate legislation towards animals.

  • Before City Clerk, Susana Mendoza proudly served six terms as a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 2001 to 2011 for the 1st District. Elected in 2000 as the youngest member of the 92nd Illinois General Assembly, she was publicly recognized for her leadership and legislation on social services, education, law enforcement, job creation and animal welfare. She was a leading sponsor of HR 1650 which created the panel to impeach former Governor Blagojevich and she served as an active alternate member of the impeachment committee.

PhoneIcon312-834-4210websiteIconLink to Website

Candidate for IL Treasurer

Mike Frerichs

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Mike Frerichs was born and raised in the small farming community of Gifford, Illinois (pop. 975). His father is a Teamster truck driver and his mother was a university secretary and AFSCME member. He graduated from Rantoul Township High School and four years later he became the first member of his family to graduate from college when in 1995 he received a degree from Yale University. After college, Mike returned home to run a technology start-up and serve as a volunteer fireman. In 2000, Mike was elected to the Champaign County Board and became the Champaign County Auditor in 2002.

Mike, a Certified Public Finance Officer, resides in Champaign with his daughter Ella. His slogan, “Standing Tall for Illinois,” is a play on his height. At 6 feet 8 inches, Mike is one of the tallest elected officials in Illinois, standing four inches taller than Abraham Lincoln.

Accomplishments:

  • In 2007, Mike was sworn in as the 52nd District State Senator, which includes parts of Champaign and Vermilion Counties. In the Legislature, Mike chaired the Agriculture and Conservation Committee, were Mike spearheaded efforts to provided financial assistance to farmers and pushed for expanded use of alternative fuels. Mike later chaired the Higher Education Committee, were he fought to reduce Illinois’ disparities in education funding and expand access to education.

  • In 2015, Mike was sworn in as Treasurer of Illinois. As the state’s Chief Investment Officer, Mike does more than make wise investments and protect taxpayer dollars, he provides tools to help people invest in themselves. Tools like the Secure Choice program that once implemented will help seniors retire with dignity. Tools like the ABLE program which will help families plan for loved ones with disabilities. And tools like our College Savings that expand access to education by helping families pay for college. Mike believes through these tools and smart investing, the Treasurer’s office can help families achieve the American Dream.

emailIconmike@mikeforillinois.comwebsiteIconLink to Website

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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Candidate - State Senator - 41st District

Bridget Fitzgerald

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Bridget holds a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s Degree from John Carroll University in Communications. Bridget is a recipient of the John Carroll University National Young Alumni Award which recognizes outstanding leadership and service of an alumnus/a who is 40 years old or younger. Standards for recognition include demonstrated leadership capability and commitment to the service of others. She cites her Western Springs upbringing at St. John of the Cross Parish and Fenwick High School as her motivation to give back to the community.

Bridget was most recently nominated for the ‘Irish Professional of the Year Award’ by the Professional Irish Women of Chicago Organization. She is involved with many St. Patrick’s Day festivities with the Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Local 130, American Ireland Fund, and the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago. She is also involved in The Kennedy Forum Illinois, Misericordia and Mercy Home for Boys & Girls.

Accomplishments:

  • As the Western Springs Clerk, Bridget makes government more efficient to give money back to taxpayers.

  • Bridget is a Community Affairs Specialist for the Illinois State Treasurer. She protects consumers by ensuring money owed to the rightful beneficiary is returned

  • Bridget worked in the healthcare sector where she helped create healthier workplaces and advised senior leadership how to be transparent and build trust.

  • Bridget will work to rein in state spending, implement ethics reforms like term limits and advocate for healthcare.

emailIconCONNECT@VOTEBRIDGETFITZGERALD.COMwebsiteIconLink to Website

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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Candidate for State Rep - 37th District

Matt Hunt

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Matthew Hunt was born and raised in the Southwest Suburbs of Chicagoland and is one of two kids of Larry and Mary Hunt. As a child, Matt attended public grammar schools in both Tinley Park and Orland Park and then went onto attend high school at Marist. While at Marist High School, Matt played golf and hockey. As a little known factoid, Matt and his Marist Hockey teammates played the last high school state championship at the old Chicago Stadium!

After high school, Matt went onto pursue his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration—Economics at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. After graduating from Creighton, Matt came back to Illinois and held a variety of careers to give him the broad business background that Matt has today. In 2002, Matt decided to bring his breadth of business experience to his family’s property and casualty insurance agency, Hunt Insurance Group, where Matt marks the 3rd generation. His agency proudly serves the insurance needs of businesses, organized labor, trade associations, families and individuals since 1957.

Matt and his wife, Joy, live near historic downtown Frankfort along with their rescued Australian Cattle Dog and German Shepherd. Matt is the proud father of two children (16 year old daughter and a 12 year old son). Matt and his family are very active and love to head over to the Old Plank Trail for a run or bike ride. You can usually find the Hunts dinning out in the District’s fantastic restaurant options.

Accomplishments:

  • Matt also gives of his time to numerous political and non-political appointments, non-profit organizations, and sports organizations including: Board Member of the Illinois State Fire Marshall Elevator Safety Division, Trustee of the Palos Heights Police Pension Board, Immediate past Board Chairman of Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens, St. Jude Ice Hockey House Program Hockey Director, Head Ice Hockey Coach for St. Jude Knights at the 12U age level, Previous Assistant Softball Coach with the 16U Mizuno Hawks

PhoneIcon779-324-0511emailIconhunt4staterep@gmail.comwebsiteIconLink to Website

Candidate for 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

Candidate for State Rep - 41st District

Val Montgomery

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Val graduated from college with degrees in Accounting and Business Administration. After that she worked her way up from Business Operations Associate to positions such as Assistant Controller, Financial Analyst, Accounting Manager, Director of Operations, and now to Accounts Receivable Manager for a local telecommunications company. She's been responsible for budgets, employee 401k accounts, allocation and disbursements, and every corporate financial mechanism in between, totaling in the 10’s of millions of dollars.

Val is a single parent of a special needs child. Val has first-hand experience advocating for our most vulnerable citizens and will work tirelessly to make sure their rights are forefront.

Accomplishments:

  • Val has the experience to exercise fiscal responsibility. With more than 25 years as an accountant in corporate America, Val can delve into budgets, find waste, and examine the implications of changes to Illinois’ tax structure.

  • Val believes in the power of volunteerism. From staffing soup kitchens in Jamaica as her college dormitory’s president to organizing a clothing drive for “Poised for Success” and helping women re-enter the workforce, Val has committed her life to helping others and being a catalyst for change.

  • Starting in college working on food projects for hurricane relief, through to her volunteer work with TAP (Tax Assistance Program), the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Glass Slipper Boutiques (providing young women with attire and accessories so that they can attend school functions without being excluded), and more. As the spouse of a (not current) active duty military member, she witnessed first hand and understands the impact that service has on families and communities, and she worked with several organizations during that time to aid our service members and their families. Through all of her work she's come to an understanding of our communities as a whole, whether the collars are white, blue, or freshly pressed to meet regulations.

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Candidate for State Rep - 79th District

Lisa Dugan

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More information coming soon

member of IBEW Local 176; former president of the Bradley-Bourbonnais Chamber of Commerce; lifelong community service includes serving on more than 50 boards and community planning organizations; former trustee, Village of Bradley; married (husband, Jack) has two daughters (Danielle and Jaclyn) and one grandson (Dugan)

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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

Candidate for State Rep - 82nd District

Tom Chlystek

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Tom Chlystek, who earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University in 2003, works as a project engineer. His career span included working for Roush Industries in Woodridge and CNH in Burr Ridge. During his career, he has been awarded over 10 patents and honored for his innovation and technical competency. He grew up on a farm in Michigan, where he completed the requirements to become an Eagle Scout. His parents, Francis & Danuta raised him to be a responsible contributor to the society and encouraged him to always to stand up for what is right. He and his wife, Joanna who is small business owner, have a 3-year-old daughter. Tom has been a Darien resident since 2011 and in 2015 he became Alderman of Ward 4.

Accomplishments:

  • Public education is just one of many key issues that have been neglected for far too long and we need to work together to move Illinois forward. For years the State of Illinois has been kicking the can down the road, in hopes that one day all of the issues will fix themselves. The reality, however, is that for us to have true success in addressing the issues that currently plague the State of Illinois we will have to put aside our differences and work together. It is time to take a more responsible approach on how the State of Illinois spends its money so that not only will we have a balanced budget but also that the public pensions are funded as expected and that the residents of this great state have access to the services that they so rightly deserve.

  • During my time as Alderman of Darien I have made it my goal to continue improving the quality of life for the residents of Darien. This has included opposing the asphalt plant along Route 83 and preventing a trucking company from moving in to a predominantly family area.

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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

Candidate - State Representative - 97th District

Mica Freeman

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Mica Freeman grew up in a middle-class family. As a child, Mica lived with her parents, three sisters, and eighteen foster-siblings. Her parents instilled in all their children the values of hard work and giving back to their community. Therefore, from a young age, Mica knew she wanted to help others in whatever profession she chose.

With the support of her family, Mica attended Eastern Illinois University (EIU) and acquired her Bachelor’s degree and teacher’s certification, going on to work as a fifth grade teacher. Around this time, Mica met her husband, David, and they have been married for over twenty years. Her family has since grown to include a daughter, son, step-daughter, and two young grandsons. Mica went on to earn her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction (with an English as a Second Language endorsement) from Concordia University.

Accomplishments:

  • Throughout her career and personal life, Mica continued to give back to her community. She volunteered in classrooms for over a decade, helping teachers and struggling students to succeed. Mica currently serves as secretary of the Band Boosters at her son’s high school. She is also a ParentWISE volunteer through Anne & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, where she helps families prepare for surgeries similar to her own daughter’s procedure several years ago.

  • Mica has seen first-hand the issues faced by Illinoisans. As an educator and parent, Mica understands that we need to work together to do more to protect our public schools. She also understands that we need to ensure our teachers and students have the necessary resources to provide a high-quality education for all. Mica’s education and experiences in life have compelled her to run for State Representative.

emailIconfreemanforillinois@gmail.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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