If Rep. Keith Sommer is to represent the newly-redrawn 88th District after 2012, he will have to defeat a primary challenger in addition to a potential Democrat in the general election.


Steve Perry, a mass communications professor at Illinois State University and member of the District 87 School Board, has officially thrown his hat in the ring to challenge Sommer for the legislative district seat.


 

If Rep. Keith Sommer is to represent the newly-redrawn 88th District after 2012, he will have to defeat a primary challenger in addition to a potential Democrat in the general election.

Steve Perry, a mass communications professor at Illinois State University and member of the District 87 School Board, has officially thrown his hat in the ring to challenge Sommer for the legislative district seat.

“I don’t think my running makes a statement (about the job Sommer has done),” Perry said Aug. 2. “I think that voters go to the polling booth and are very disappointed when they only see one name on position after position.

“I’m providing an opportunity for there to be a dialogue about what needs to happen  in Springfield,” he added.

Perry said that his experience with local government and communication skills propelled him to run for the district seat.

“I have several years working with local government... (and have) been politically active for a long time, so it doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch (to run for state representative),” he said.

“The skills of communication are important for politicians,” Perry added.  “I think one of the things Republicans have lacked in Illinois is a good ability to communicate to cast a vision... You have to be able to communicate in such a way that people begin to see the picture.”

After working as a professor at ISU for more than a decade and serving as a school board member since 2007, Perry said he’d “rather be part of the solution to the (state’s financial situation) rather than sit around and complain about it.”

“The state has to get back to a balanced budget,” Perry said. “We’re going to have to look for the things we can cut.”

Among the issues Perry would like to tackle, if elected, would be to end the state’s unfunded mandates, reform the pension system, tap into the state’s energy reserves and keep businesses from moving across the state lines.

“We have got to make the state friendly to business, Perry said. “It’s one of the worst in terms of business taxation and business environment. Companies are fleeing the state and we have got to see a way to change that.”

Rep. Dan Brady is the current representative for the 88th district, but he elected to run in another district instead of competing against Sommer.