State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) announced she will run for another term in the Illinois House, while former Representative Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) said she will run for the Illinois Senate.
Hammond kicked off her campaign outside the McDonough County Courthouse on November 3. She also planned to make several other stops during a two day swing through the district, which includes all or parts of eight counties (Brown, Cass, Fulton, Knox, Mason, McDonough, Schuyler, and Warren).
“A lot of my colleagues have chosen not to run again, and I appreciate their decision. But for me, this is a time of challenge and a challenge that I am willing to take on and I don’t want to back down from,” Hammond told local Republicans who gathered for her announcement.
Hammond said the governor and four legislative leaders need to leave their egos at the door and start talking so they can settle on a new budget. Illinois is now in its fifth month without a spending plan.
Hammond, who serves in a leadership role as an Assistant Minority Leader in the House, said she brings common sense and fiscal responsibility to Springfield. She told reporters that downstate is disproportionately impacted by the ongoing budget stalemate.
“We are basically the entities that have the majority of the universities, we have the majority of the community colleges, we have the majority of state employees, we have the majority of the prisons,” Hammond said.
Hammond said she is a strong advocate for agriculture, education, and senior citizens.
Hammond took office in December, 2010. She was appointed to replace Rich Myers (R-Colchester), who passed away from prostate cancer. Hammond previously worked in Myers’ office.
Tracy announced her candidacy during a tour of the district on October 26.
“This Illinois is not the same Illinois as I was raised in,” Tracy told supporters during her stop in Macomb.
“We have to turn the tide that has run businesses out of the state.”
Tracy said she would work to improve areas of state government that have waste, duplication, or over-regulation. She said, for example, the Department of Revenue requires small businesses to fill out countless forms.
As for the state budget impasse, she said the state needs structural reform.
“I think Governor Rauner has started that dialogue with insisting that our job growth potential has been hurt by our workman’s compensation high rates, our unemployment insurance high rates, the manner in which we do Tort,” Tracy said.
“He’s insisting that we get some of those reforms as we get this budget so that we change the way that we do business so that we have natural revenue growth.”
Tracy said higher education needs to be funded properly so families can afford it.
Tracy served in the House for eight years. She gave up the seat to run for Lieutenant Governor last year with candidate for Governor Kirk Dillard. They lost in the GOP primary.
Tracy said the lessons she learned from that campaign will help make her a better legislator.
The Senate seat she’s seeking is held by John Sullivan (D-Rushville), who decided to step down from the Legislature when his current term expires in January, 2017.