The primary elections are less than two weeks away, and there are a number of important races taking place for the Jacksonville area. One such race is that for Illinois’ 18th Congressional District, a seat which is currently being held by Republican Darin LaHood of Peoria, who’s been in office since 2011. While LaHood faces opposition on his own party’s ticket with fellow Republican Donald Rients, there are also several Democrats vying to represent Illinois 18th district in Washington D.C. Darrel Miller, Brian Deters and Junius Rodriguez are the three Democratic candidates on the ballot this year, and two of those candidates, Miller and Deters, were featured on WLDS’ “What’s On Your Mind” program Wednesday. Miller, who has run for the 18th Congressional seat before, says he hopes to shake things up.
“Well all across the country, lots of citizen candidates are to run in this election.You are seeing people who are running in races that haven’t had democrats before. I think it’s part of a wave to push back against the direction of the administration and congress where they are taking the country and I’m happy to be a part of that movement and offer an alternative to where the country is going now.” said Miller.
Miller says that he and the other Democratic candidates bring substance to this election.
“Congressman LaHood is a wonderful gentlemen but he just comes out with a lot of cliches and I look for more substance and I think all three of us running in this race can bring us that substance. If you are voting for the democratic primary you can’t go wrong. We are going to appeal to different people. I am a business man, the other two are wonderful educators, so I’m glad to be in this race.” said Miller.
One of the interesting things about Miller’s candidacy and political career is the fact that he once ran as a Republican. He explains the reasoning behind his change of parties.
“2009 was kinda the bottom of the financial crisis, and there was open seat on the republican side and I asked them what response did they have to this financial crisis and they didn’t have a response. Not only that, they didn’t think it was that big of a deal. That’s free market, that’s how things work and so in that election cycle in 2010, at least in the district I lived in somebody was going to talk about the finiancial crisis, so that’s what I did, anytime we got together for forums and debates. One thing I brought away from that experience was the people I do business everyday are as capable as the people who are representing us.” Miller said.
The other democratic candidate who join Darrell Miller on WLDS “What’s on your mind” Wednesday was Brian Deters.
The Quincy native teaches social studies at College du Leman, an international school near Geneva. He says he’s not a politician and he gives thoughts on why he’s running for the 18th congressional district seat.
“Being an educator and being a father are the things that have driven me to this race. I think it’s telling that there are three people running in the democratic primary where no one two years ago. What has brought me to this race is the keen awareness of the cultural divide that exists. There are institutions out there that are profiting of dividing us. The reality of it is that we have way more in common and I would like to focus on those things to try and get something done. ” said Deters.
Deters briefly talks about his campaign platform.
“When you talk about job opportunities you have to look infracture and agriculture, it is still vital part of our district, and bring it to the 21st century. In regards to the infracture, the opportunities are there, like the high speed rail in Springfield. I would encourage some tram center in some larger areas. The water way system, in terms of were and tear, hasn’t been touched since the new deal. In terms of agriculture to create sustainability to help promote things that are going to be compliant to the environment issues that are alive and well and need to be addressed.” said Deters.
Deters gives his perspective on the current state of the nation.
“When you talk about the direct of our country in regards to the tax bill that went through, it concerns me. It concerns as a history teacher. We need to have an economic structure that is focused on and is behind the working and middle class. There is demonetization happening there, whether it is breaking down unions, which is through the media, largely a part of this, are making regular folk to think twice about what unions mean. Those institutions, unions in particular are so vital for all of us to boost the economy. we haven’t seen a lot of growth at all since the 80’s who are making the $35,000/$45,000/ $55,000 a year. We just haven’t, but we’ve a big boost in the top 1%” said Deters
The primary election is March 20th. To hear more from political candidates, listen to the entire interviews, click on the link below.