The two Democratic hopefuls in the 14th Congressional District primary include a first-timer and a repeat contender.
Small businessman John J. Hosta of Spring Grove, 54, is new to the race. Dennis Anderson of Gurnee, 63, returns to vie for the seat for the second straight time. The winner will face incumbent Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Winfield, who defeated Andersen for re-election in 2012.
Anderson, who is retired from his role providing administrative support for cancer researchers, lists economic recovery and job creation as his main priority for the district. He said groups from the private and public sectors could come together to form business incubator partnerships. In addition, he would work to strengthen the district’s transportation infrastructure.
The economy and transportation are key issues for Hosta, but his main goal is protecting U.S. industries. He said some of the recent layoffs in business are a direct result of 20 years of poor foreign trade policies.
Financial incentives could play a role in bringing more manufacturing jobs to the U.S. and filling up vacant buildings in the area, Hosta said.
“This is how you get the economy going again,” Hosta said. “I would fight tooth and nail to get Whirlpool here [to the district].”
Hosta said that he likes Anderson, but he thinks that he is more business-minded and aggressive than his opponent. Hosta started his custom bedding business in 1987 for interior designers, and saw firsthand the effects of a struggling economy.
Hosta said he plans to spend a few hundred dollars, at most, during his primary campaign. He said that without special-interest support, he is not beholden to anyone. Anderson also touted a Washington outsider stance, adding that he’s not a career politician.
Anderson said he is the better choice in the March 18 primary because he considers himself a pragmatist open to dialogue. He said he has a broader concern and understanding than Hosta of the issues facing 14th district residents.
“We have too many people in Congress driving by ideology,” Anderson said. “I’m willing to talk with anyone about any issue.”
The 14th District covers seven counties, including Kane, DuPage, DeKalb, Will, McHenry, Lake and Kendall.