From Illinois Business Journal news services
LEBANON – State Sen. Kyle McCarter plans to run for the 15th Congressional District, setting up a primary challenge to longtime incumbent Congressman John Shimkus, who said he welcomes the competition.
Saying it’s time for “new leadership to restore, renew and recapture the bright promise of America,” McCarter, R-Lebanon, announced his intention Wednesday to run for the U.S. House of Representatives.
“This is a very conservative district that believes we should protect life; that believes in the Second Amendment, and believes in limited government and free market principles of economic opportunity for all,” said McCarter (left). “Ronald Reagan described the heart of American conservatism as, ‘The common sense and common decency of ordinary men and women, working out their own lives in their own way.’ That’s also the heart of the 15th District.”
McCarter has served in the Illinois Senate since 2009. He said the promise of America has been undermined in recent years by policies and practices that fight against and undermine traditional values.
“What we have witnessed in recent years is not how our country was designed to work,” said McCarter. “The burdens of government have grown¸ in spite of the opposition by a majority of Americans. The federal government has imposed thousands of new rules and regulations, and billions of dollars in new taxes. It has overstepped its bounds and has done so without our consent. Of all the places in Illinois, the place that should have the loudest, strongest voice in Washington is the 15th District, but I don’t see that happening. Respectively, 20 years is enough. It’s time that someone like myself step up and really defend the people of this district.”
Shimkus, R-Collinsville, announced his intention in September to seek re-election. He is a nine-term Republican from Collinsville, in office since 1997.
Shimkus issued the following statement on McCarter’s candidacy:
“As a free market Republican, I always say that competition is good. With that said, I will strongly defend my conservative voting record, my accessibility throughout the district, and the constituent service that my office provides to the people of Illinois.
“Unlike my opponent, my family lives in the 15th District, and we never moved to Washington. And I am proud to be a public servant – from West Point to the Army to teaching to county government to Congress.”
McCarter said he is not required to live in the district, but he is considering a move to Effingham.
He also said that the 54th Senate District he represents includes a considerable amount of the territory represented by the 15h Congressional District.
“I think 11 of the counties that make up the congressional district I’ve served as part of my Senate district. Some 27 percent of the people have voted for me at one time or another.”
McCarter likened the challenging of a longtime incumbent in the race to David vs. Goliath, but he said a tough campaign is worth the struggle because the end result will be good for families and communities, and good for businesses and the economy.
“If the last eight years have showed us anything, it’s showed us we need new blood in Washington,” said McCarter. “We need to ‘Turnaround Washington.’ We need people who think differently, who haven’t given up on the traditional American principles and qualities that made our nation great. We need leaders with energy who are not in Washington to make a career of the Capital, but who are working to improve the lives of citizens today, and to secure a bright, promising and hopeful future for generations to come.”
McCarter said he refuses to compromise on the principles of freedom and liberty.
“We need to return to the traditional American principles that are the bedrock foundation upon which our nation was built,” he said in his statement.
McCarter said the nation’s founding documents give the people unique power and authority because the freedom and liberty the documents detail are recognized as coming from the “Creator.” Rights come from God, not by the government, he said, which means the people are in charge of their destiny, not a group of individuals in Washington, D.C.
Illinois’ 15th Congressional District is comprised of all or parts of 33 counties: Bond, Champaign, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Edwards, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jasper, Johnson, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Massac, Moultrie, Pope, Richland, Saline, Shelby, Vermillion, Wabash, Washington, Wayne and White.