Wheaton Democrat mounts challenge to GOP’s Amy Grant for 47th House seat – Shaw Local

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A GOP lawmaker who expected a clear path to another term in the Illinois House has picked up a challenge from a Wheaton Democrat.

Newcomer Jackie Williamson has emerged as an opponent to Wheaton Republican Amy Grant in the 47th District.

Williamson was slated by the DuPage County Democratic organization to take on Grant in the November election.

No Democrats ran for the seat during the June primary. But party officials were able to select candidates for the general election as long as each hopeful gathered enough signatures to get on the fall ballot.

Williamson, 33, said she was galvanized to run after the toppling of Roe v. Wade in June.

“We have a lot of protections here at the state level that I believe if Republicans were to gain power, they would try to roll back,” said Williamson, an abortion rights supporter. “Because the rights that we have at the federal level are under threat due to the Supreme Court, I would want to ensure that those protections aren’t put in any sort of danger at the state level.”

Williamson has lived in Wheaton for four years and works in human resources.

“I think I would bring that sort of mindset to governing,” she said. “Human resources requires a balance between the interests of the business and the interests of the employees.”

Grant, an abortion opponent and former county board member, won her first state House term despite a blue wave in 2018. Grant’s campaign isn’t surprised that a candidate was slated to challenge her.

“What was a bit surprising was how low the threshold was to do so regarding gathering such a small number of signatures in balmy temperatures,” campaign spokesman Kevin Fitzpatrick said. “Comparing that to the more difficult standards during the inclement weather period in the winter where Democrats and Republicans alike were required to meet more stringent deadlines and requirements seems a bit of a lower standard.

“That being said, in every campaign we prepare for an opponent, and we always work hard in our district to provide the best constituent services possible and attend as many public events as we can, to provide outreach and full awareness of how our state office can assist every resident in our district.”

Grant favors term limits and was part of a coalition that opposed a state constitutional amendment that would have allowed for a graduated rate income tax.

“As your state rep., I remain a steadfast advocate to make DuPage County an affordable and safe place to raise a family,” Grant said when she launched her campaign earlier this year.

The 47th House district includes all or parts of Carol Stream, Warrenville, Wheaton, and Winfield.

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August 26, 2022 at 07:03AM

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