Huntley Resident Chris Yaeger has volunteered for Republican candidates for more than a decade. He decided to get involved after feeling the state was heading in the wrong direction.
As we approach the 2022 midterms in November, questions about the new SAFE-T Actwhich will eliminate cash bail and bring a litany of new requirements to McHenry Countyas well as what is taught in school, especially in relation to sex and gender education, are what he feels are most important to him.
“School should be about math, science and history,” he said. “Not all the other trash they want to throw in there.”
He was one of many to voice similar concerns during a meet and greet with a Republican candidate hosted by Nunda Township Republicans on Wednesday night at the Raue Center for the Arts in crystal lake.
About 100 people, candidates and voters, crammed into the room to meet Republicans on the ballot and listen to short speeches.
“This is one of the most important elections of our lifetimes, especially in the state of Illinois,” McHenry said. county council member Jeff Thorson, who is running for re-election in the newly redesigned District 2, said in his speech. “The alternative is not a very good scenario.”
That the state of Illinois was heading in the wrong direction and needed to be removed from the Democratic Party was a recurring theme with the state representative. Steve ReickR-Woodstocksaying “things aren’t getting better in Illinois”, for Attorney General candidate Thomas DeVore saying the state is in trouble “if we don’t get the right candidates”.
Reick takes on Democrat Brian Meyers in the Illinois House District 63, which stretches east from Woodstock through southern McHenry, northern Crystal Lake and Cary into Lake County. DeVore, who spent the morning at another campaign event at Around the Clock Restaurant in Crystal Lakehopes to overthrow the incumbent Kwame Raoul.
The SAFE-T Act has been raised by many people as a concern. Candidate for county council Joe Gottemoller said he was worried about all the demands that would come with that, including having to hold a court every day and the funding needed to make that happen.
“[The bill] is just a mess,” he said.
Some called out their opponents directly, including County Council candidate Terri Greeno, who called out her opponent, the Democratic candidate Kelli Wegener who currently sits on the board, the “most left-wing Marxist in the county.”
Catalina Laufcandidate for Illinois’ 11th district in the United States House of Representatives, said her opponent, a Democrat and current House representative. Bill Foster, is an extreme leftist. She also described Democrats this way in general.
“It’s not [John F. Kennedy’s] Democratic Party,” she said. “These are far-left extremists who are undermining the values of our country.”
Dave Salmi from McHenry said he was a Lauf supporter because she had values similar to his, such as taking issue with gerrymandering.
“The whole Illinois trend was such a disaster,” he said. “The stuff coming out of Springfield is crazy.”
Other issues included Amendment One, also known as the Workers’ Rights Amendment. A sign that many carried with them said a vote for the amendment would give more power to unions.
“Amendment 1 would strip Illinois of its representation in Springfield,” the sign reads.
Although the issue didn’t come up much in the candidates’ speeches, one voter at the event, Rita Spantideas of Crystal Lake, said she thought abortion was murder. Although she said she was prepared to make some exceptions in extreme circumstances, she said she believed it was a moral issue, not a political one.
“I understand [people] are upset because it was [a right] was taken from you, but you never should have had it in the first place,” she said.