JOLIET - In what began as a crowded 5-person race for the Republican 11th Congressional District primary, Chris Balkema finished an impressive second place to the eventual GOP nominee and winner, Darlene Senger. He trailed the frontrunner by only 1,284 votes.
Balkema was leading Senger at 8pm the night of the election, with roughly 32% of the vote. But Senger pulled away from the pack at the end of the night with 37%, followed by Balkema with 33%, Bert Miller with 26%, and Ian Bayne with 3%. Chris Robbins, the 5th candidate, dropped out of the race before the election.
“We were able to run a strong campaign, despite the coldest winter on record, because we had an amazing surge of dedicated and hardworking grassroots volunteers. They bundled up and reached over 12,000 households,” said Balkema from his campaign headquarters in Plainfield. “I am so thankful for the outpouring of support that we received from every corner of the district.”
“What drove our volunteers was their passion to stop the Democrat’s job-destroying, tax-heavy, liberty-killing monster known as Obamacare. Add to that a fierce desire to protect the Constitution, to get rid of burdensome taxes and regulations that destroy jobs, and to eliminate the $17-trillion debt.”
Campaign Manager Debbie Kraulidis also credited the “boots-on-the-ground”.
“We were told ‘you don’t have the money—you’ll never win’ and ‘you don’t have the establishment—you won’t compete.’ Well, what they all seemed to have forgotten was We the People. The people took Chris to the top, and almost to victory,” said Kraulidis.
Balkema is ready to offer commonsense, free market ideas and solutions as Senger goes up against Bill Foster in November.
“With proven free market, commonsense solutions, Darlene can help tame big government and unleash every voter’s God-given potential.”
The 11th Congressional District includes the towns of Aurora, Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge, Downers Grove, Joliet, Lisle, Lockport, Naperville, New Lenox, Oswego, Plainfield, Romeoville, Shorewood.