The New Year brings new Congressional Districts for Illinois residents. Voters in Naperville will see some familiar faces on the ballot, but in the 11th District instead of the 13th. Both the Democratic and Republican parties have multiple candidates, bringing big competition to the March 20th primary.
There’s three democrats seeking the party’s nomination for the newly drawn 11th Congressional District , including Bill Foster, who served in the 14th District from 2008 until 2011. Foster owns his own company that makes lights, and also worked for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory doing basic scientific research. He feels that by fixing the decline of manufacturing would help everyone.
“When you lose a manufacturing job, you don’t just lose a manufacturing job itself, you lose the restaurant that sells them the food at lunch, the realtor that sold the house, and the person that built that house for them,” said Foster.
One of his competitors is Aurora Township Clerk, Juan Thomas. He agrees we need to invest in manufacturing and help small businesses. Thomas says the country faces long-term problems that need long-term solutions, like investing in early childhood education.
“We have to make sure that our children are prepared to compete in this global economy,” said Thomas. “We also have to support small businesses now. Small business owners need incentives to hire veterans who need jobs.”
The third democrat on the ballot is Jim Hickey, the President of the Orland Fire Protection District. Hickey has the smallest budget of all the candidates, so to get his name out there he’s walked more than 300 miles across the district, introducing himself to voters and learning their concerns.
“The one thing that I learned walking door to door, is right now Americans are nervous about the future, they’re not confident about the future, and they’re broke,” said Hickey.
On the Republican side, Congresswoman Judy Biggert is running for her eighth term. She doesn’t live in the district, but about half of her current constituents do and she wants to help them get back to work. She wants to make sure the government doesn’t spend, borrow, or tax too much, and hopes to get people back into homes.
“Not only are people not having a job, but so many because of that have lost their homes,” said Biggert. “We have a lot of people that just don’t have any place to go.”
Biggert will face Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham on the ballot. He’s no stranger to running for Congress. He first ran in 1972. He wants to serve to help fix he nation’s money problems. He says that both sides of the aisle have led to the country’s current $15 trillion plus debt and hopes to help the United States bounce back.
“I need to worry about the young people that I see and my grandchildren and people like that and I’m seriously concerned that one of the precipices of disaster in this country unless we change the leadership in Washington on both sides,” said Cunningham.
Will County resident and notary Diane Harris also filed to have her name appear on the republican ballot, but her petition was challenged, removing her. She’s now running as a write-in candidate.
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