Andersson is a local government and municipal lawyer and the treasurer of the Geneva Library Board, so he's seen his share of meetings. Now he's seeking to represent a larger constituency on a bigger stage.
Among the highlights of his speech are that he doesn't intend to play the "blame game" in politics, that he's "not a politician," that he's a strong proponent of local control in government and that the state needs to go back to basics, "like not spending more than you make."
Schmitz announced on Friday the 13th of September that he would not seek re-election to the post he'd held for 12 years.
The 65th District is strangely constructed, meandering from Batavia through parts of Geneva and St. Charles then moving north through South Elgin, Hampshire and Huntley.
So far, Andersson is the only candidate to announce that he is seeking the Republican nomination. A transcript of Thursday's speech is provided below.
You can find a map of the 65th District here.
First off, thank you, Mayor Brolley, for that kind introduction; I cannot tell you how honored I am to have you introduce me. Your words and support mean so much to me.
Also, I want to sincerely thank Rep. Tim Schmitz for his service to our district.
He has courageously fought for good government throughout his tenure in Springfield. I wish him the best in this next stage of his life and career.
I need to thank, most importantly, my wife, Nanette, and our children, Matthew and Sarah, for their support. Without Nanette’s words of encouragement and guidance, this campaign would never begin. She is my partner, my love and my best friend.
Lastly, I want to thank all of you for being here today to support me. My partners in my law firm, my friends, family, co-workers, community leaders and fellow citizens. Thank you all.
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This location means a great deal to me. The Kane County Courthouse is a proper place to announce my candidacy for the Republican nomination for state representative for the 65th District for two reasons: first, because this is where my career began that has led me to this point; second, because of the importance of respect for the rule of law in our society. This courthouse is a symbol of that ideal.
This campaign is not about me. It’s about an idea and vision. An idea, I believe, most people agree with, which is simply to be reasonable, to use reason, logic, ethics and good judgment in government. It is not to engage in bitter partisan bickering. It is not about extreme political views. It is not about the “blame game.” It is about fixing real problems and achieving common goals, by going back to basics like not spending more than you make.
If you believe in that idea, then I would ask for your support.
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So what is this campaign about?
Not all my lessons were learned in the courtroom. I am a small business owner. I know the importance of a sound financial plan. A strong fiscal base is what our state requires to be competitive. The law firm I own with my four partners has seen good days but also tough days. I know the struggle to make payroll during lean times.
Each day in business, we bear the responsibility of insuring that our firm (and the employees it supports and who support us) is fiscally sound and strong. I know the importance of hard work and sacrifice for a common goal. I certainly know very well that kicking obligations down the road for others to deal with is not an acceptable answer.
Deferring obligations may be a politically astute answer, but I’m not a politician and we need to address this head on.
In my 20-plus years as a municipal attorney, I have worked with our local communities, throughout the region to make projects and plans a reality. In this campaign, I hope to bring to light some of the things that make our local communities great.
Examples include commercial developments that enhance the sales tax base and bring jobs to the community, residential projects to provide good housing for our citizens, and industrial projects that provide jobs and generate growth. I’ve been involved in making those projects a reality.
This meant bringing many moving parts together all at the same time. Sometimes those parts didn’t want to be brought together, but through the effort of many people, we found common ground and made projects work. My goal is to bring that skill set to Springfield for the good of all the citizens of the 65th District.
Also, I am a member of the Geneva Library Board. I serve as treasurer. In my service on the Library board, I’ve worked hard each year to insure we don’t spend more than we bring in. In fact, last year, recognizing the financial struggle our citizens were dealing with, we actually lowered our levy by approximately $200,000.00. I will bring that experience and mindset to Springfield.
Also, this campaign will be about reinforcing local control. I have great faith in our communities and our local leaders. They have a close connection to the local residents. Each community is different and has different needs. What is right for Chicago or Peoria is not necessarily right for South Elgin, Hampshire or Pingree Grove.
Strong communities like we have in this district have the ability to govern themselves wisely and, most of the time, don’t require input from Springfield. Sometimes the best thing our state can do is to leave things alone. In other words, don’t pass statewide laws, but let the people govern themselves locally, if at all possible.
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So, how can we fix the problems of our state?
Again, no one person can do it alone. But I believe we can start with three fundamental steps that will begin a “course correction” for our state.
First, we need to enhance our state’s environment for private business. We need to clearly put out the “welcome mat” to private business and be “business friendly.”
You may recall when Gov. Rick Perry of Texas came to our state to attract away businesses. Gov. Quinn’s answer was to call that act unfair “poaching.” In my opinion, that wasn’t exactly the best answer. How about instead we say, “Bring it on.”
We can beat Texas and any other state, but we need to make changes. We need to be able to offer low taxes, a balanced budget, a pension system that is not broken and flexible planning to entice businesses here. We can do all of these things. Illinois is a great state to live in, and I’m proud of this state’s people and to be a resident.
Second, we need to be fiscally conservative. We need to balance the budget and fix our pension crisis. Make no mistake, this can be done. It requires sacrifice and cuts, but it can be done. We need to honor our promises to current employees, but we also need to make changes for the future.
Strategies include matching the retirement age for pension holders to that of Social Security, eliminating the automatic 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment and eliminating the compounding of the cost-of-living adjustment. Also,
for new employees, I believe we have to look at changing the system to a defined contribution system, rather than a defined benefit system.
Once we fix the financial health of the state, private business will come to us.
Finally, we need to establish term limits and ballot access. Elected positions should be held only for a reasonable period of time; they should not become permanent careers. We need to avoid the big government mindset. We need to insure that normal, reasonable people can get on the ballot and that money and influence doesn’t decide who can run and, more importantly, who can win. And after a time, those who are elected need to move on.
In summary, I am pleased to offer my candidacy for nomination as the Republican candidate for state representative for the 65th District. I ask for your support and your help. We need volunteers and support; if you are interested in helping, please let us know.
Thank you one and all. Enjoy the rest of this fine fall day.