Today, I finally made a tough decision to let the Democratic Party of Illinois machine have their way, meaning to have their pre-selected candidate run unopposed in the 15th Congressional District Democratic Primary.
In my travels this petition cycle, the conversations had a far more serious and at times darker hue. Many of my closest friends have similar and deepening reservations regarding the Democratic Party and its intentions regarding rural Illinois.
We see the same lack of resources and strategies as we do any semblance of principles and loyalty.
These difficult realizations about the intentions and actions of the state and national Democratic party absolutely do not absolve the Republicans of a half century of economic, domestic, and foreign failures or for plunging the nation into continuous culture war sagas to distract from those unmitigated failures.
Too many rural Democrats have fully embraced the simplistic economic policies that have long failed rural America. Instead of challenging the latest emotional hot button culture war issues, it was far easier to sit by while a false belief that went against our national and constitutional principles solidified into a divisive cultural and community identity.
What I see are the remnants of the Madigan machine seizing this election cycle as an opportunity to have their revenge upon their political rivals around the state.
Instead of being part of that game, I am embarking on a different adventure. Rural communities have been withering away decade by decade. I will amplify voices and stories in these communities. Neither Republican will seek these people and these stories out. And, I doubt many Democratic candidates will listen much either. That’s okay. My ambition and objective is to give a platform for these communities to be heard by other people in other communities, because we are not alone. It is together that we will find our strength.
I sincerely thank every person who took the time and care to gather signatures for our campaign this year. I take every signature and will use it as fuel for this effort I am undertaking to reach more voters than any of the candidates that seek the office this election year. May they all surprise us in a positive way.
I leave you with my favorite speech from 2018, in Robinson. It’s worth every minute. Positive policies that would make a difference is what the people deserve— that’s what progress is about.