Lakewood Village Trustee Paul Serwatka announced his candidacy for the 66th Illinois House District, making the March Republican primary a four-way race.
Serwatka, who very publicly has been mulling a run, made it official Thursday evening with an announcement on social media, a YouTube video and a radio ad buy on conservative talk radio station AM 560 The Answer.
He joins McHenry County Board member Carolyn Schofield, West Dundee Village Trustee Dan Wilbrandt and East Dundee Village Trustee Allen Skillicorn in the race to replace state Rep. Mike Tryon of Crystal Lake, who is not seeking re-election after six terms in office.
Serwatka delayed a formal announcement so he could talk to his constituents and gauge whether he should run just after his successful campaign for village trustee.
He said the response he received was overwhelmingly positive in encouraging him to campaign.
“I just think that we have a real need for principled leadership in Illinois,” Serwatka said Friday. “This campaign is not just about Paul Serwatka wanting to work in Springfield, but something much bigger and much more important.”
Serwatka made headlines in the April election with his decisive upset victory to win a seat on the Lakewood Village Board as a write-in candidate, riding dissatisfaction with a proposal for a tax increment finance district anchored by a nonprofit sportsplex on the village’s outskirts.
He said he intends to keep his trustee seat if elected, but will reject the pension and benefits that come with a seat in the General Assembly.
He also rejected the salary that comes with being a village trustee.
Serwatka defended the decision by saying he will be able to see firsthand how decisions at the state level affect small governments and taxpayers.
If elected to Springfield, he said he will push for and support efforts to amend the Illinois Constitution to enact term limits and reform the way legislative districts are adjusted after each U.S. Census.
“I think one [office] quite nicely complements the other. Both have a need for the same thing – responsible, accountable and transparent government,” Serwatka said.
The 66th District, since 2012 post-census redistricting, includes parts of southeastern McHenry and northern Kane counties, including parts of Crystal Lake, Lakewood, Lake in the Hills, Huntley and Algonquin. Tryon, before redistricting, represented the 64th District, which covered most of southeastern McHenry County.