Incumbent Thaddeus Jones, challenger Monet Wilson seek Democratic nomination in Illinois House’s 29th District

Two barrier breakers in Calumet City are squaring off for the Democratic nomination to represent the 29th District in the Illinois House of Representatives.

With no Republican running in the heavily Democratic district stretching from Chicago’s South Side to the far south suburbs, the winner of Tuesday’s primary is essentially assured of winning the November general election.

Incumbent Thaddeus Jones, 51, who is seeking his sixth term in the General Assembly, was the first Black alderman elected in Calumet City in 1997 and also was elected the city’s first Black mayor in 2021.

Also seeking the 29th District nomination is Monet Wilson, 45, who is the first Black female member of the Calumet City City Council. She represents the 2nd Ward.

In separate statements, Jones highlighted his support for abortion rights and his efforts to return tax dollars to schools, social service agencies, infrastructure projects and economic development in the 29th District.

“The overturning of Roe vs. Wade is not only a strike against just a woman’s right to abortion, but it also has implications for contraception,” Jones said. “In addition, it has implications for the the rights of gay people to get married under the Obergefell decision. …

“We are now experiencing an assault on a freedom that most Americans thought was secure. That’s why I have been on the frontline of such fights including the passage of the Reproductive Healthcare Act that solidifies a woman’s right of ‘self-determination’ in making her own healthcare decisions.”

Maintaining a woman’s right to choose also is a priority for Wilson, as part of a broad healthcare platform.

“Within the district, I would like to see a more comprehensive health and mental health service,” she said in an interview before Friday’s Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade. “Families are suffering from PTSD from violence.”

Wilson said she is running for state representative “to provide a voice for marginalized people and communities throughout the 29th District,” noting her family’s roots in Altgeld Gardens on Chicago’s Far South Side.

“Altgeld Gardens doesn’t even have a corner store,” Wilson said. “You can hear the gunshots, you can see people running. … That’s throughout the 29th District. … We have to want better for our communities.”

Jones pointed to state dollars he helped to steer to the district, including more than $50 million to build an allied health training center at South Suburban College in South Holland.

He also noted his efforts to provide property tax relief for senior citizens and the “over 100” bills he sponsored that have been signed into law. Among the topics: telehealth during the pandemic, crime-free housing, mandating the teaching of black history in schools and universities, and the expansion of license-plate readers on the Bishop Ford Freeway and Interstate 57.

“We have witnessed so many signs of progress and accomplishments from Michigan Avenue in Roseland to Lincoln Highway in my beloved childhood town of Ford Heights,” Jones said. “While I am pleased with our political progress and accomplishments, there is so much more to do.”

Jones also is running for Thornton Township Democratic Committeman against four other candidates, including 15th District State Sen. Napoleon Harris and Terry Wells, the chairman of the South Suburban College Board of Trustees and village president of Phoenix. Troy O’Quin and Kenneth Williams also are on the ballot.

Wilson said if elected to the Illinois House, she will resign her city council seat. She formerly worked for the Illinois Department of Corrections as a records administrator but left that job to be a full-time alderwoman.

“I do not believe in holding two positions,” she said. “It’s hard to focus when you are going between the city and the state.”

Region: Northern,Region: Kankakee,News

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June 26, 2022 at 11:08AM

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