1st and 3rd Congressional District races each feature three candidates
November 2, 2018

By Rick Romano

Congressional elections in the 1st and 3rd Congressional districts include challenges to Democratic incumbents by winners of the Republican primary and independent candidates.

Bobby Rush.

1st District

Incumbent Bobby Rush, Democrat, has served the district since 1992 and ran unopposed in the spring primary on the platform of supporting the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA), and stringent gun controls.

Rush is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the ranking Democrat on the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Power.

Regarding immigration, Rush said, “I am a firm believer in immigration reform that addresses this very serious problem in a comprehensive, reasonable, and humane fashion. I do not believe that is realistically feasible to deport the millions of undocumented workers currently residing in the United States. Therefore, I support immigration reform that not only includes strengthening our borders but also creating a pathway to citizenship, firmly and fairly enforcing the laws and restoring and ensuring due process.”

On gun control, he said, “I am a firm believer in gun control. I think the biggest priority should be to close the gun show loophole and require background checks on all private sales of firearms. I also support a ban on assault rifles.”

Concerning President Donald Trump, Rush said, “I am mindful of Thomas Jefferson’s statement that ‘All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for good people of good conscience to remain silent.’ With that in mind, I have spoken out, and will continue to speak out, against the discriminatory and denigrative words and actions of the president and his administration.”

Rush also noted, “I plan to continue my focus on the issues that continue to plague my district. Specifically, violence, a lack of jobs, and access to education. While these may seem like distinct issues, all three of these issues are interconnected. In fact, a lack of educational opportunities leads to a lack of jobs, which is a key factor in the rise of violence.”

He also said that, while Republicans have controlled the House for most of his tenure, he has reached across the aisle to advance successfully legislative priorities such as legislation to promote 21st century energy and manufacturing workforce (H.R. 338).

Rush intends to “continue on that path” of working with colleagues from both parties.

For more, go to www.rush.house.gov.       

Jimmy Lee Tillman II.

Jimmy Lee Tillman II, Republican, was unopposed in his spring primary. This is his fourth run for the seat; he last won the nomination in 2014. During his primary run, Tillman said he supports middle class tax cuts and an infrastructure program to create jobs and opportunities. He opposes any form of amnesty for the undocumented that would “unfairly hurt” the Black community that “already has limited access to resources.”

Concerning immigration, Tillman said, “I believe that Congress should revisit the Immigration Act of 1990 and make some serious changes, like not allowing illegal immigrants to enter the lottery system and placing caps on the number of immigrants we allow in the county.”

The Immigration Act of 1990 was an amendment in U.S. immigration law that increased the number of legal immigrants entering the U.S. each year, introducing a lottery system that randomly assigned visas to immigrants. It also changed the earlier practice of not granting visas to those from certain countries and lifted restrictions based on homosexuality and being HIV positive.

On gun control, Tillman said, “Being a Chicago resident with the nation’s strictest gun laws on the books and as many as 30 people shot each weekend, I believe more federal legislation is necessary. Not enough law-abiding citizens have the option to protect themselves. If they do not carry a firearm, they run the risk of being shot by law enforcement. It must be noted that most gun-related crimes are carried out using illegally owned firearms.

“Citizens who legally own firearms use them for lawful purposes much more than they are used to commit crimes,” Tillman asserted. “Congress should focus on the complex societal problems at the root of gun violence instead of creating new laws that violate Americans’ constitutional rights.”

Beyond immigration and gun control, Tillman said his number one issue is the state of race relations because it affects criminal justice reform, trade tariffs, infrastructure, affordable medicine, fresh water, and a lead-free environment.

“Our district deserves to be represented by someone who can represent the diverse population that exists in the area,” Tillman said, noting that he intends to pay attention to both urban and rural needs.

Tillman said that, as an independent Republican, he supports some of President Trump’s approaches to the economy such as tax breaks and other measures that have shown growth while understanding the Republican Party is not always representative of Black causes.

For more information, go to www.facebook.com/Jimmy-Lee-TillmanII

Thomas Rudbeck.

Thomas Rudbeck, has qualified for the ballot as an independent. He is a real estate developer who describes himself as a small businessman who has spent the last decade “working on incubating local businesses throughout our district.”

He said he has watched local homeowners and businesses “harassed by high taxes and aggressive city regulations.”

“I am a free-market liberal,” Rudbeck said. “I am running to bring back respect to our public discourse.”

Summarizing his position on immigration, Rudbeck said, “Dreamers should be given a pathway to citizenship. They are already Americans in every way except for a piece of paper. We should overhaul our immigration system to allow for more skilled and unskilled workers to legally enter the United States. We should create a system to allow those undocumented immigrants who have been in the country more than ten years, and have not been convicted of any crime, a pathway to residency.”

On gun control, Rudbeck said, “I favor a red flag law so friends and family of citizens who are a suspected threat due to mental instability or other concerns can report that to the courts in order to at least temporarily suspend one’s gun rights.”  He also wants to close the gun show loophole where people can buy guns without a background check and end bulk gun sales.

“I do not support criminalizing gun owners as I have serious concerns on how these policies would be implemented, Rudbeck said.”

He advocates for attention to climate change and pollution dangers, strengthening Medicare though cost containment measures, making marijuana legal as a means to end the “failed war on drugs,” stopping the practice of gerrymandering legislative districts, increasing the minimum wage to $12 per hour as a precursor to getting to $15 per hour, funding all public schools equitably by legalizing marijuana and sports betting, ending government overregulation and corporate welfare, and establishing a national gas tax increase of two percent to support infrastructure.

Rudbeck said he could work on common issues with President Trump, though he does not support him.

“It’s really about the tenor of the politics,” he said. “Social media drives a lot of that. We need to separate that and get together with no need to be hateful.”

Rudbeck’s website is at www.thomasforfirst.com.

Daniel Lipinski.

3rd District

Incumbent Daniel Lipinski, Democrat, is vying for an eighth consecutive term. He is a member of the Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure and its subcommittees of Aviation, Highways, and Transit and Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials. He also is a member of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and its subcommittees of Energy, Space, and Research & Technology, in which he is the ranking member. 

On immigration, he said, “Most immigrants come to the United States to work hard and make a better life for themselves and their families. It is in our national interest for Congress to act on comprehensive immigration reform. I will continue to push for legislation that allows immigrants to contribute to and become a part of our nation, while also stopping illegal immigration, defending our borders, and protecting American workers.

“We should start by passing the BRIDGE Act—which I have co-sponsored and built bipartisan support for—to protect from deportation those brought to our nation as children and who have qualified for DACA status. While we must always protect our nation from those who would do us harm, I have opposed President Trump’s ill-conceived travel ban, which has been harmful to innocent individuals, including refugees fleeing persecution.”

On gun control, he said, “One step we need to take is to do more to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those suffering mental health challenges.” He suggested the possibility that the National Rifle Association’s influence could be curtailed by diminishing the role money plays in politics and by strengthening community-based action.

Concerning Trump, Lipinski said he has voted against the President’s budget plan as well as his effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), his tax cut for the rich, “and many others.” Lipinski also characterized the president as “uninterested or incapable of proposing solutions to issues most important to Americans.”

He also now supports raising the Federal minimum hourly wage to $15.

For more, go to www.lipinskiforcongress.com.   

Arthur Jones.

Arthur Jones is a retired independent insurance broker who has won the GOP primary for the first time in seven attempts. If he does not win election, Jones said he is not sure if he will run again.

A Holocaust denier who has been labeled a neo Nazi and linked with white supremacist, anti-Semitic groups, Jones said he has not been affiliated with any such organization or movement since 1980. His website quotes historical figures espousing white supremacy and features an elephant wearing a Confederate flag.

On immigration, he said, “I follow President Trump’s policy. I believe we should build a wall to keep out illegal immigrants from non-European countries. We have found prayer rugs at the border and an underground army pouring across the border, so I am very concerned that we are being invaded by an entire Third World.

“There was a survey done by Gallup that showed that we could have an illegal population here of half the size of China, for God’s sake,” Jones said. “Most of these people don’t have marketable skills. We are already at a crisis stage. It’s horrendous, and the Democrats are insane to want open borders.”

Concerning gun control, he said, “I don’t belong to the NRA because, first of all, I had enough of all that in Vietnam. I am not a hunter-type of individual; I am a fisherman. I am for bans on military style guns.

“I do realize we have a criminal element in this country,” he continued. “I am 100% behind the Second Amendment, but I do make exceptions. If you are a gang banger, a gang member, have a mental illness, or you live in Section 8 homes or public housing, then you give that up.”

Jones is split on support of President Trump.

“I support his domestic policy, but I am disappointed in his foreign policy,” said Jones, opposing the president’s relationship with Israel and moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

“If we got into war with Iran, it will be a bigger bloodbath than Vietnam,” Jones added.

Jones said he opposes raising the minimum hourly wage to $15 but wants to give a no-tax break to minimum wage workers, those who are in tip-heavy jobs, and full-time workers logging overtime hours at the request of their boss.

For more, go to www.artjonesforcongress.com.

Justin Hanson.

Justin Hanson has filed paperwork to run officially as a write-in candidate. He is a commercial law attorney and former policy advisor to Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri.

Hanson favors “a complete assessment and realignment” of current immigration laws.

“Too many of our federal immigration laws are inconsistent,” he said. “For example, we provide federal funding for sanctuary cities yet also enforce a zero tolerance policy at the border that separates small children from their parents. Further, the inconsistency with which we apply our immigration policies is unfair to people who try to come to our country through the legal channels and complying with our laws.”

Hanson noted elected officials need to make laws and borders that respect the nation while giving equal respect to those who want to come the United States legally.

On gun control, Hanson said it will take more than a single act of Congress to curb violence.

“I believe that responsible Americans have a protected right to bear arms under the Second Amendment and should be able to hunt and own a firearm for home defense, should they feel it is necessary,” Hanson said. “But there needs to be a balance.”

He favors strengthening background checks to prevent those who commit domestic violence or misdemeanors from owning guns and requiring gun seller licenses to close gun show and private sale loopholes.

“Every gun starts as a legal gun,” Hanson said. “We need to know
when guns are sold and who they are being sold to and keep them from the illegal market where they are a threat to our police officers and our children.”

As for President Trump, Hanson said he disapproves of “how he carries out the duties of his office” but added that he can balance support for some policies, opposing others, and criticizing when necessary.

For more, go to www.justinhansonforcongress.com.