- Kent Casson
Gubernatorial candidate visits Chenoa
One of the Republican candidates for Illinois governor visited with farmers at the Prairie Central Cooperative grain elevator west of Chenoa Wednesday afternoon.
Jesse Sullivan and members of his “Farmers for Sullivan” coalition gathered in a shed for lunchtime conversation and a brief media availability. Sullivan feels the state needs to get back to the values of faith, family and service.
“We need to get God back into our politics,” he said.
Sullivan grew up working on a farm as one of eight siblings. He still considers farming a way of life as he raises a family.
“My wife and I have corn and soybean fields right now and we love it.”
The agriculture coalition was formed by Sullivan to advise him on the campaign trail. A media advisory from his office said if he is elected governor, farmers and agricultural groups would have a seat at the table and buy-in on the issues impacting them and the future of the industry.
“Today, Illinois farmers and our agriculture industry are suffering from high taxes, high energy and fuel costs and a fundamental lack of appreciation for the work they do and the service they provide,” Sullivan said. “Every single piece of that changes on day one when I am governor.”
Referring to many state politicians as “corrupt insiders,” Sullivan said they do not represent the good, common-sense Midwestern values. Sullivan noted he is the only candidate to sign a taxpayer protection pledge, meaning he would not raise taxes on the people of Illinois if elected governor.
“Any bill that comes across my desk as governor, that includes raising taxes, I will veto,” Sullivan explained.
Sullivan claims other candidates in the race have a history of raising property taxes. Many farmers in the state face the same challenges families and small businesses do – the highest property taxes in the nation. Sullivan wants to cut $10 billion out of the budget by fixing what he refers to as the pension crisis, consolidating government and enacting a hiring freeze.
“We need to save the taxpayers of Illinois money.”
The Petersburg resident and native plans to repeal the gas tax and grocery tax on basic goods. Sullivan would like Illinois to move toward being a zero-income tax state and a place more like Texas and Florida rather than New York and California.
Broadband and fiber Internet connectivity is another one of Sullivan’s goals. He hopes this improves rural economic development. Sullivan pointed to his business background helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
“I know what it takes to create the jobs of the future here in Illinois,” added Sullivan.
Kathleen Murphy is Sullivan’s running mate for Lieutenant Governor. He called her a person of faith and fellow outsider who wants to get conservative values back into Illinois politics.
Sullivan is part of a crowded field of GOP contenders for governor, which also includes Darren Bailey, Paul Schimpf, Richard Irvin, Gary Rabine and Max Solomon. On the Democratic side, current Governor J.B. Pritzker is running again. He is being challenged by Beverly Miles.