The race in the Illinois 6th Congressional District isn’t close simply because incumbent Peter Roskam of Wheaton is a Republican in a district that went for Hillary Clinton by six points.
There are, in fact, two good candidates in the race to represent the district, which includes southeastern McHenry County: Roskam and Democratic challenger Sean Casten, a former CEO from Downers Grove.
Roskam is seeking a seventh term in Congress. He characterizes President Donald Trump as doing a “middling” job and says he stands against the tariffs the Trump Administration has imposed. A member of the House Ways and Means Committee, he points to his votes for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which clearly has helped to spur economic growth in the country.
Roskam says Casten’s tweets referring to the Republican Party as “the pedophile party” and Republican donors as “morons” are proof that he is unfit for office. Roskam also says Casten plans to return to a system of taxes and regulations that handicapped the American economy. We are against name-calling and the general cheapening of American political rhetoric led by the president.
However, in speaking with Casten, we didn’t get the sense he is a toxic candidate. It is likely Casten will bring a new perspective to pressing issues – notably climate change – that threaten not only our country but our world. Although he certainly has values of the Democratic Party, Casten is not the typical Democrat. His background as a company CEO gives him more regard for and understanding of private-sector concerns than a run-of-the-mill tax-and-spender.
He understands that making businesses reduce emissions requires getting them to act in their own self-interest. Reducing emissions is in the interest of business because it means operating more efficiently – and that is an area where Casten has expertise.
A builder of companies, Casten displays a solid grasp of manufacturing, trade and economic issues. On immigration, Casten looks beyond the simplistic plans of building walls and locking up people who cross the border, at questions such as why are people overstaying their work visas, and does that mean the number we provide each year is out of step with economic growth here.
Casten pledges to be driven by facts rather than political considerations in decision-making, and even he admits that this elicits groans from some because politicians say this all the time. But if there are “win-win” solutions to be found to address challenging problems, we would like to see someone take a shot at them.
We may not agree with him on all issues, but believe that Casten has an approach and expertise that we need in Congress now.
Casten is endorsed.