WIU student announces plan to run for McCombie’s seat


ROCK FALLS — Democrat Sean Sanders has announced his candidacy for state representative in the 71st District, challenging Tony McCombie, R-Savanna. 

Mr. Sanders, 30, is a student at Western Illinois University, working on his master’s degree in government and political science. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. 

The primary will be on March 20, 2018, followed by the general election Nov. 6.

Mr. Sanders will hold a town hall event from 1 to 3 p.m. today  in Sterling at the United Steelworkers Union Hall, 502 Woodburn Ave.

According to an online biography, Mr. Sanders was elected committeeman of the Democratic Party for Whiteside County in March 2016. He worked on the campaign for former state Rep. Mike Smiddy, D-Hillsdale, who was defeated by Rep. McCombie in the Nov. 8 general election.

Mr. Sanders has set up a page on Crowdpac, a political fundraising website. It shows he has raised $405 from nine donations toward his $10,000 goal. 

On the site, he states he is a local activist and lifelong resident of Rock Falls

“Our representative has been bought and paid by Gov. (Bruce) Rauner and represents him rather than the people of our district,” he said, referring to Rep. McCombie.

“It’s time for us to put an end to Gov. Rauner’s corrupting influence in our district and his slash-and-burn economic policies that only benefit his millionaire and billionaire friends while punishing the middle and working classes.”

If elected, Mr. Sanders said, he will push to reform the “destructive influence of money in politics, help do away with gerrymandering, and clean up state corruption.”

He promises also to fight for middle- and working-class families by promoting labor unions and fair wages and investing in education, infrastructure and small businesses.

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