BETHALTO – Republican Mike Babcock has announced his candidacy for state representative of the 111th District, hoping to fill a seat that longtime incumbent Democrat Dan Beiser plans to vacate.
Babcock said the timing was right to make his announcement, after the General Assembly hiked state income taxes by 32 percent while “refusing to control spending and root out corruption.”
He released the following statement:
“Last month, Chicago Democrats and Dan Beiser passed a 32 percent tax hike, taking more money from our families to fund their corrupt machine. The never ending cycle of tax and spend policies crafted by Mike Madigan and those who enable him has driven this state into the ditch. Instead of making the tough decisions necessary to turn this state around, Springfield politicians doubled down on taking more of our money to fund the mistakes of the past. Enough is enough – it’s time for a new direction.”
He said the tax hike will cost Madison County families an additional $70.17 million per year. Residents in each community will pay more: Alton ($486 per person), Bethalto ($572), East Alton, ($460), Granite City ($436), Godfrey ($622), Hartford ($390), and Wood River ($444).
Beiser, who long has been thinking about not running for the office, confirmed his intentions this week in an interview with The Telegraph, the daily newspaper in Alton.
“I notified the Democratic party, both on the local and state levels, in March, that I was seriously considering not running,” Beiser told the newspaper, pointing out that he wished to enjoy retirement with his wife, Terri. Beiser was originally appointed to the role in 2004 and elected ever since. He was city treasurer and an alderman in Alton prior to that.
Babcock was the 2016 Republican candidate against Beiser. He was also the 2012 Republican candidate against Democrat Bill Haine for District 56 of the Illinois State Senate. He was defeated in both.
Babcock said that as Wood River Township supervisor he has balanced the budget each year in office and actually cut spending and taxes.
“Businesses are closing and industry has left us in the dust. Illinoisans are being taxed out of their homes and our friends and family are fleeing across the river,” he said in his statement.
“Illinois and the Metro East had always been a leader for the nation. The gateway to the west and the land of opportunity. Full of hard working mid-westerners, blue collar factory workers, and agricultural stewards. But times have changed, and government has let us down. Together we can change Illinois for the better and return government to the people. As the owner of a small business, I’ve spent my life employing hardworking river benders, balancing budgets and meeting payroll. I’ll put that experience to work in Springfield for the people of the Metro East,” he said.
Babcock, 55, is a graduate of Lewis and Clark Community College, and SIUE. He holds an Associate’s Degree in Electronics and a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. For more than 20 years he has been the owner of Babcock & Associates insurance agency in Glen Carbon and is the elected Wood River Township supervisor. He and his wife Carol reside in Bethalto and have three grown sons, Michael, Jonathan and Joseph.