Before I decided to run for State Representative, a number of my friends and family asked me, “Do you really know what you are getting yourself into?”
After serving in local government as a city council member, and as a tax professional and mother of five, I had an inkling of Illinois’ political culture, which unfortunately, affects virtually all aspects of life in our state.
I anticipated many of the hurdles I had to clear in my successful run to be the Republican nominee for State Representative in the 42nd District. But, I had not foreseen that I would have to navigate the political dynamics that exist within Illinois Republican and conservative circles.
I learned that there are competing personalities and organizations, with a range of political ideas and ambitions. In a field in which everybody talks, I learned quickly that it is important to listen to what people say, then watch to see what they do and compare the two.
One group who delivered what they promised and asked me for nothing in return, except to “be who I say I am” when I get to Springfield, was John Tillman, Pat Hughes, Matt Besler and Dan Proft. I initially reached out to this group (as did many other candidates in the recent primary), because I felt my political views were consistent with the ideologies and policy prescriptions of these individuals.
It was my experience that, whether it was non-partisan policy briefings from the Illinois Policy Institute or material and financial support from Illinois Liberty PAC, the leadership of each of these organizations conducted themselves as policy-focused professionals with a goal of changing the balance of power in Springfield and moving Illinois’ political culture back to one of public service.
During the course of the 2012 Primary, I witnessed the Illinois Liberty PAC and other entities directed by Tillman, Hughes, Besler and Proft raise and provide more financial support for GOP legislative primary candidates than any other group active in GOP legislative primaries. This is readily available public information.
In politics, I have found that it is often difficult to know who to trust – especially when you’re new to the arena. I share my recent experience to help first-time candidates out there know where they can turn and who they can trust for support for their campaigns.
Illinois needs legislators that bring courage, conviction and honor to the General Assembly. The good news is we have many talented, accomplished and honorable Republican state legislative candidates running throughout the state who can lead Illinois back from the brink of financial devastation. They need everyone's help to earn the trust of the voter's this November.
I am looking forward to winning my race in the fall and helping other conservative candidates who understand, as Illinois Liberty PAC does, that what we need in Illinois are more principled policy leaders. This November 2012 can and should be the time we bring revolutionary change to Springfield.
Jeanne Ives resides in Wheaton, Illinois. She is the Republican nominees for State Representative in the 42nd Legislative District.