And they’re off!
Campaigns for the 2012 elections in Illinois are underway in DuPage County. On Wednesday, Addison Republican John “Chip” Humes launched his campaign for House District 46, which is currently held by Rep. Dennis Reboletti, also an Addison Republican.
Humes and several dozen supporters gathered at Casey’s Restaurant in Lombard Wednesday evening to kick off his campaign. In a short address to the crowd, Humes said pursuing policies that grow jobs and cause the state to become more business-friendly are his top priorities in these tough economic times.
“We can’t continue to borrow money to pay our bills and pass that debt on to our children. We need common-sense solutions and to run things like a family does. If you can’t afford to buy a car, then you don’t buy a car,” said Humes, who is making his first bid for the legislature.
Humes was joined by an all-star cast of DuPage County Republicans, including Reboletti, who endorsed Humes’ bid for the legislature. Due to a redrawing of legislative lines earlier this year, Reboletti was drawn into a different district. He said he is still weighing his options for another campaign, but said Humes would make a great representative for the people of the new 46th District, which includes portions of Elmhurst, Addison, Glendale Heights, Carrol Stream, Villa Park, Lombard and Oakbrook Terrace.
In addition to being the first candidate for the district, Humes may be the only Republican running for the seat, especially when considering the endorsements he’s so far received. Numerous prominent DuPage Republicans have lined up to support the first-time candidate, including DuPage County States Attorney Robert Berlin; DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin; Rep. Franco Colidipietro, a Bloomingdale Republican; Rep. Randy Ramey of Carol Stream, who is also the chairman of the DuPage County Republican Party; Pat Durante, former executive assistant for U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde; and Don Puchalski, DuPage County Board member for District 1.
Humes is endorsed by Rep. Tom Cross, the Illinois House Republican Leader, and Elmhurst Mayor Pete DiCianni is also supporting Humes’ bid.
“With all the turmoil and the changes in districts, I believe the time is right for me to run,” Humes said, prior to his campaign kickoff.
Although a first-time candidate, Humes, 28, is no stranger to politics. He’s spent the last several election cycles helping Republican candidates across the county.
Humes, like most candidates, is concerned about jobs and the business environment in Illinois. If elected, Humes said he will be a voice for “common sense and sanity” in Springfield. Serving as president of the Addison Chamber of Commerce and as a small-business man has given Hume insight into the best ways to grow business in Illinois, he said.
“If we’re good to our businesses, they’ll be good for us,” he said.
A former paramedic, Humes works with his family business, Humes Funeral Home, which is a member of the Teamsters. He said being a Republican affiliated with a labor organization gives him a unique perspective and relationship.
“I believe I am the one who can bridge the relationship and find some common ground to the problems we’re facing,” he said. “I believe I can represent both blue collar and white collar workers fairly.”
Reboletti agreed. He said Humes is the right person to send to Springfield to address the state’s economic needs.
Puchalski, who is serving as Hume’s campaign manager, said the race in the 46th is important because the Democrats in Springfield drew that district specifically to gain a foothold in DuPage County. He praised Humes for his common sense and values, and said he is the candidate to carry that swing district.
“He’s in this for the right reasons, and that’s showing due to the people who are supporting him. For a novice candidate, he has tremendous support,” he said.