Three Democrats are vying for their party’s nomination in the March 15 primary in the 14th Congressional District.
John Hosta of Spring Grove, Jesse Lee Maggitt of Plainfield and Jim Walz of Gurnee all say they could do a better job in Congress than incumbent U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Plano, who is unopposed in the Republican primary.
The winner of the Democratic primary will run against Hultgren in November.
“The reason I’m running is our weak trade policies impacted me personally,” Hosta said, adding that he owns businesses that were affected. “Let’s go back to what our founding fathers established, that our trade policies are not just fair trade, but balanced trade.”
Hosta, 56, said he sees trade policies that do not benefit the country.
“It’s the worst farm bill in the history of the country – allowing the Chinese to handle our meat and ship it back to us,” Hosta said. “We gave [billions] to General Motors, and they decide now to build Buicks in China. They are taking taxpayer money and betraying taxpayers by manufacturing abroad.”
Maggitt, a retired member of the U.S. Army who served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm, said the primary reason he is running is because he has seen “our government shut down on itself,” referring to a funding gap in 2013 that resulted in a shutdown.
“What Congress has done is nothing and held the rest of the country under arrest, when they had the government shut down,” Maggitt said. “And my opponent on the Republican side [Hultgren] has been an advocate of that type of activity.”
According to Hultgren’s website, hultgren.house.gov, he gave back his salary during the shutdown.
Maggitt, 46, said as he has walked through the district and participated in town halls, he heard a repeated complaint that current elected leaders are absent.
“Like most Americans, I have seen that our government has not provided the quality of service that we, as Americans, should expect,” Maggitt said. “I consider myself a public servant.
“As a military veteran, I have had a global experience serving and meeting the expectations of my country. I will take those principles and take those experiences back to Congress and provide the quality of service that we expect.”
Walz, a Warren Township High School District 121 Board member, said he is running because “the middle class is woefully unrepresented in Washington to the point that we are not represented at all. And it seems like the moneyed interests get any and all of the attention – and that does not seem to be quite right to me.”
“I’m not going to be beholden to anybody but the middle class and common sense,” Walz added.
Walz, 53, who works in sales, also cited the “disastrous Supreme Court decision on Citizens United that allows for unlimited, undisclosed amounts of money to campaign for an issue or a candidate – and that is a cancer on democracy.”
“It’s undoing one man, one vote – that is what democracy is,” Walz said. “In Warren Township, I spearheaded an advisory question on the ballot to declare that corporations are not people, and money is not speech. In 24,000 votes, residents supported it 2-1.”
The three Democrats did not criticize each other.
“Any one of us, on our worst day, would be better than Randy Hultgren,” Walz said. “I’m not running against my opponents. I’m running for the 14th District.”