Stuart, Korte vie for 112th House District seat – Alton Telegraph

EDWARDSVILLE – Incumbent state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is facing a challenge from Republican Jennifer Korte of Maryville on Nov. 8 for the 112th Illinois House of Representatives District.

Stuart took office in 2017 after defeating former state Rep. Dwight D. Kay, R-Glen Carbon. She is a teacher with a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University and a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

“As a teacher, I was actively engaged with my students and learned a lot about the issues and problems that they and their families faced,” Stuart said. “As state representative, I have focused on solving those problems and being the most engaged legislator possible.

“I have knocked on thousands of doors across the district to hear firsthand what issues are most important to people and have hosted dozens of events, ranging from shred days to utility bill clinics to various drives for local shelters and charities.”

Stuart said she tries to be as engaged as possible with local issues and stay in regular contact with other elected officials and local organizations. She said education remains a priority.

“I saw firsthand the effects that underfunding our schools has on our students and the communities they live in,” she said. “I decided to run for office when I saw the current representative failing to address these needs, and I wanted to bring the perspective of a teacher to our capitol.

“Since being elected, I have focused on improving the lives of working families and investing more into our public education system,” she continued. “I have worked to make our state a better place for teachers, students, and families. I want to continue to fight for our communities and make them the best place possible to live, work and receive an education in.”

She said she has worked hard to find solutions to problems faced by local communities. She said 30 bills she sponsored or cosponsored passed into law, which she said was one of the highest of all representatives this term.

“I sponsored landmark legislation to raise teacher pay to a minimum of $40,000,” she said “This makes Illinois more competitive, bringing new highly qualified teachers to our state. Illinois can only continue to have excellent education outcomes if we train and attract the best teacher candidates.”

She also believes women should have equal access to the products they need.

“That’s why I passed legislation that requires every public university and community college to make menstrual hygiene products available at no cost to students in bathrooms on campus,” she said.

“I have been a strong advocate for protecting our right to vote and free and fair elections,” Stuart continued. “I passed legislation that directed remaining federal funds to election authorities be used for the maintenance of secure collection sites for the return of vote by mail ballots. This helps guarantee everyone equal access and is particularly useful for those with limited mobilities or limited resource.”

Korte describes herself as a “stay-at-home mother.” She has an associate degree from Belleville Area College, a bachelor’s degree from SIUE and a master’s degree in social work from Saint Louis University.

“As a student at SIUE, I volunteered with a local sexual assault victims advocacy center,” Korte said. “During this volunteer experience, I would meet with survivors of sexual assault in the Emergency Department to offer them advocacy, support, and resources.

“I also have served as a volunteer at a local pregnancy care center, at my children’s schools and our church,” she added. “Most recently, I have worked as an advocate for parental rights and, in August 2021, I joined Speak for Students as a leader.”

It was that work, she said, that led her to launch her campaign for state representative.

“I have deep roots in Madison County,” she said, noting her father worked at Granite City Steel. “I am raising my family here. Voters can count on me to listen to them and their concerns. I will treat people with dignity and respect whether they agree with me or not.”

Korte said she would stand up to the “culture of corruption” in Springfield and put residents in the 112th District first.

“What I hear from voters when I go door to door is they are unhappy with the direction of the state of Illinois,” Korte said. “They are concerned about the cost of groceries and gas. They are worried about their utility bills, which have gone up thanks to the radical CEJA (Climate & Equitable Jobs Act) legislation my opponent supported.

“They want real solutions,” Korte said. “Voters understand the challenges of getting big ideas enacted into law at the state level. But they want their elected representatives to at least try to get good policy enacted into law.”

She said people are “frustrated” with “tone-deaf politicians like Katie Stuart.”

“They want someone who will fight to lower taxes, create more jobs, and stand up for parental rights,” she said. “I will be an approachable, citizen legislator who will put the values of this district first. I will fight for the structural reforms we need to reduce spending, lower taxes, attract new jobs and opportunities and get Illinois back on track.

“I would be the citizen legislator I wished I had during our current representative’s reign,” she said. “I would also work to repeal the SAFE-T (criminal justice reofrm) Act because the most important responsibility of the government is to keep our communities safe. Ending cash bail and preventing police officers from taking various offenders into custody will only serve to make our communities less safe.”

She said she also would vote against budgets that give legislators pay raises, a promise she said Stuart has not kept, and would work to repeal CEJA.

“This legislation has directly contributed to the high utility bills many in our region are experiencing,” she said. “This legislation goes too far, too fast and has had a direct impact on US Steel and on the Wood River Refinery,” she said.

Korte said Stuart has lied about her views.

“I understand politics is a dog-eat-dog arena,” she said. “But lying or misleading statements about your opponent to get votes is just wrong.”

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October 16, 2022 at 07:33PM

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