Thank you very much, Paul, and I want to say thank you very much to everyone for being here. I know that this is not the best time of day and not the best day of the week to make it out here, but I can’t tell you how much it means to me. I want to say also, thanks to Jim for hosting us and thanks for creating high quality jobs and keeping those jobs in the district.
This campaign, of course, is about all of you that are here in the 50th Senate District, from Jerseyville where I was last night to Jacksonville where I will be this afternoon – from Springfield to Pittsfield. But it’s also about those people that are not here. I’m one of three kids. My little brother who has great talent and created my campaign logo, lives and works in New Jersey. My sister, who has tremendous talent, is a lawyer, and works in New York. They didn’t move to that part of the country for the weather. All of my close friends from high school have moved away – most to other states. This is not just a problem for the district – it’s a problem for the whole state. People are leaving, and have little reason to return. Few want to move here. This is because there is a toxic environment for businesses, our state’s finances are a mess, and crime is out of control. What has been the General Assembly’s answer to these problems? More taxes, more government, and less personal responsibility. This is why I am running for state senate. We have to turn this state around.
I’m a conservative Republican (it’s why I’m wearing the brightest red tie that I could find) and I believe in low taxes, less government, more personal responsibility, I’m a strong supporter of the second amendment, I’m pro life, and I support traditional family values. I’m also a former prosecutor, and I want to help reform our juvenile and criminal justice systems to save the taxpayers money and make us safer.
We need to have term limits for the statehouse and redistricting reform. We need to be more fiscally responsible with taxpayer money, keep taxes as low as possible, and pass reforms to attract businesses to come here – like worker’s comp reform. We need to have better and more effective drug treatment programs for adults and juveniles that commit crimes because most people occupying our prisons don’t stay there forever and we need to prevent future crimes and turnaround lives. The 50th State Senate district is also the home of the state capitol. As government is streamlined I will fight to bring back state jobs to central Illinois. The talent is here, the cost of living is less, and after all, this is the center of our state government.
This is where both of my parents worked in state government for Governor Thompson and Governor Edgar. I’ve been a Republican ever since I was a kid. Some of you probably still think I’m a kid. I mentioned people that were not here a few minutes ago. Another person who is not here is my Mom. She died of cancer nine years ago. She’s another reason why I’m running – and by the way, I have seen many of my Mom’s friends here, which I really appreciate, and I’m sure she appreciates. So, when I knew it was going to be the end – when she knew it was going to be the end she and I spoke. She told me two things: always remember family comes first, and make me proud. I want to bring my family back into Illinois where they belong, and I want the same for all of you and your family members. I want to make her and all of you proud to support me. I want to turn this state around, and with your help, we can do it together.
Thank you very much and God bless you.