Three southern Illinoisans are vying to be the Republican candidate for the state’s House District 118 seat.
The ticket includes Massac County State’s Attorney Patrick Windhorst, Harrisburg business owner Wes Sherrod and Metropolis businessman Sam Stratemeyer. All three candidates have said they want to improve economic conditions in Illinois.
Windhorst has said political and economic reforms need to happen in Springfield. He said property tax rates are “sometimes double or triple those of surrounding states for the same valued home.” He said these taxes are causing people to leave the state. Windhorst said he wants to reform the property tax system and workers compensation insurance that is “causing businesses to close or not move to Illinois.”
Sherrod said he plans on fixing the state’s pension crisis and lowering state taxes by balancing the budget. He said it was aggravation towards current state legislatures that pushed him to run.
“We’re on such a decline now we’re on the edge of a third world country,” Sherrod said. “Sewers need to be repaired; we need water lines repaired; roads are just a nightmare down here. Well we have no one representing us anymore.”
Sherrod said he wants to legalize low-THC recreational marijuana and tax it to bring revenue to Illinois. He said he wants to use some of that revenue to bring back vocational training to public education. He said he also wants to fund vocational and associates degrees for high school students if they pledge to work in the state for at least five years.
Stratemeyer said he wants to cut taxes and make the state more business friendly. Like Windhorst, he said people are leaving Illinois because of the high taxes.
“People are fleeing the state of Illinois in droves,” Stratemeyer said. “We want people to stay here. We want them to invest. We want them to have jobs and provide jobs.”
Stratemeyer said he hopes to work with local media outlets and keep an open line of communication with the public through Facebook and email. He is chair of the Massac County Republican Party. He is also a broadcaster and farmer.
The winner of the Republican Primary on March 20 will face Democratic incumbent Natalie Phelps Finnie in the general election.