18th Congressional candidate Rodriguez lays out his plan as Super Tuesday nears

By Benjamin Cox on March 15, 2018 at 4:00pm

Another day in the books and another day closer to super Tuesday.

This primary has three democratic candidates on the ballot for the 18th Congressional District. That’s something that hasn’t happen in recent history.

Junius Rodriguez is one of the names on the ticket. He’s taught at Eureka College for the past 25 years. He serves on local two local organizations that help senior and youth programs, those with special needs and emergency shelters for women and children.

He says election day is drawing near and that’s both exciting and terrifying at the same time.

Rodriguez talks about what this could mean down the road.

“Democrats are certainly energized, to make sure we have a strong candidate to make sure Governor Bruce Rauner isn’t elected next year. I think there will be a good turn out there. Then the Trump effect. After 14 months dealing with the Trump administration, where everyday seems to be a new level of craziness. I think many people are energized to make sure we have effective representatives who are going to Washington to speak on behalf of the communities who have been forgotten for far too long.” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says he wants to be the people’s representative. He lays out his first action if elected.

“I would want to meet with every congressmen or congresswomen who represents a district involved with the 18th. I want to develop a good working relationships, republicans or democrats that doesn’t matter. I always want to benefit things from a systems approach, I think if you can develop that kind of relationships you could expand out. It becomes easier then to start doing things that impact the region than focusing on the traditional port projects. ” Rodriguez said.

The democratic candidate explains the importance of this position even though it maybe gone in the coming years.

“Many of the statistical trend lines are heading in the wrong direction. We’re bleeding population, the most rapid clip of any congressional district in the country. We know sadly that Illinois is going to lose at lease one congressional seat in the next census is taken, which means the 18th will only exist the next two election cycles. By 2022 we will have a new map and will lose likely only have 17 districts in the state. I think we need a representative that can speak to the forgotten communities and to speak on behalf the individuals who really need to see job creation. We don’t want to see our young people grow up and move away and not see a opportunity in the communities where they grow up.” said Rodriguez.

Be sure to cast your vote on Tuesday, March 20th. If you haven’t registered, head over to your county clerk’s office. Stay with WLDS/WEAI as will have continuing coverage leading up to the election.