TWO state legislators running unopposed in West-Central Illinois already have established themselves as effective advocates for the region, and a newcomer will be joining the team.
Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, has a wealth of experience in the Legislature. She was appointed to the Illinois House in June 2006. She was elected to office later in 2006 and was re-elected to the office three more times.
She ran for lieutenant governor in 2014, teaming with gubernatorial candidate Sen. Kirk Dillard. The pair was edged in the GOP primary by Bruce Rauner and Evelyn Sanguinetti who went on to win the General Election.
Tracy was elected to the Illinois Senate in 2016.
An attorney and former assistant attorney general, Tracy played pivotal roles in the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich, the questioning of U.S. Senate appointee Roland Burris and the expulsion of state Rep. Derrick Smith who was facing bribery charges.
During more than 10 years of service, Tracy has supported this district as a champion for funding highway priorities such as the Macomb Bypass, four-lane upgrades for U.S. 34 between Gulfport and Monmouth as well as a host of other projects. Tracy has worked on behalf of K-12 schools, higher education and health care facilities among other priorities.
It is notable that Tracy, a Republican serving during an era of Democratic dominance in the Legislature, has remained an effective, vocal advocate for the interests of Western Illinois. She has the respect of peers on both sides of the political aisle.
The lack of a challenger is testimony that Tracy is held in high regard.
Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, has served in the Illinois House for nearly six years.
A native of Jacksonville, Davidsmeyer served from 2008 to 2012 on the Jacksonville City Council before he was appointed to the House in December 2012. He is vice president of IRC Inc., a family business founded by his great-grandfather.
Davidsmeyer voted for a budget bill in 2017, facing the ire of Gov. Bruce Rauner and attracting a challenger in the Republican primary which he weathered this year.
During the past two years, Davidsmeyer has promoted a series of common-sense solutions for consideration by the Legislature. He wants a two-year freeze on discretionary spending, a return to the state's payment cycle to 30 days, full pension payments before any new or expanded programs, a pay-as-you-go rule and no unfunded mandates on schools and under units of government.
Among other priorities, Davidsmeyer wants to see workers compensation tied to causation in order to bring costs down. He wants to streamline some of the regulations that keep doctors, teachers and other professionals from getting certification when they come across state lines.
A graduate of the Edgar Fellows leadership training course at the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs, Davidsmeyer has the right skills, governing philosophy and temperament for his 100th District.
Steve McClure is a political newcomer poised to fill the Illinois Senate's 50th District seat that was previously held by Sen. Sam McCann.
The Republican from Springfield, McClure has been an assistant state's attorney in Sangamon County. His courtroom experience is reflected in seeking criminal justice reform so that non-violent offenders are not sent to prison. McClure sees the need for treatment programs for drug addiction and better funding for mental health programs. He said those things could save on long-term costs of incarceration and loss of human capital.
At age 34, McClure also said his closest friends from high school have moved away from the state due to the state's toxic environment on business. He said rising taxes and government dysfunction have made conditions worse.
McClure supports workers compensation reforms. He wants to see a capital bill to upgrade deteriorating roads and bridges, and he would like the Legislature to root wasteful spending out of agency budgets.
West-Central Illinois voters have long known Tracy and Davidsmeyer as players in an effective team working on behalf of their districts in Springfield. McClure wants to join them.
We believe all three will serve this region and their constituents well.