11th District candidates address economy

January 22, 2010 3:03:27 PM PST
Republicans around the country are ramping up in effort to take over democratic seats in Congress, including right here in Illinois' 11th Congressional District. The 11th Congressional District starts in the southwest suburbs and stretches downstate to include parts of Will, Kankakee, Grundy, LaSalle and McLean counties.

Congresswoman Debbie Halverson is one of several area Democrats with a slew of Republicans trying to unseat her. In the 11th Congressional District, all the candidates say they're in it to improve the economy.

At 31, Adam Kinzinger, is the youngest of the contenders. But for him, that's not a strange position. When he was 20, he won a seat on the McLean County Board. He joined the military after 9/11 and is now an air force pilot who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"As much as I enjoy that job and I'm gonna keep it as a reservist, I think we have to do a little defending of our country on the inside. We're spending money we don't have, unemployment is running rampant," said Kinzinger.

Henry Meers, Jr. is 62. The Tea Party Republican says being the oldest candidate in the race is one of his best assets. He says he has seen -- and learned from -- the most election cycles. He says it's time to break the political machine.

"People ask about how we get jobs to various towns in this district. Well, first you got to talk about Illinois. Back off some of the taxes. You've got everybody leaving, the trucking companies, everybody leaving I can think of. That's why we don't have jobs here. The city of Chicago is running Springfield," said Henry Meers, Jr., (R) candidate for 11th Congressional District.

Bourbonnais-based David McAoon says he's a small business owner and works as a tv producer for a Tinley Park church. he says he's been fighting corruption as an active citizen for decades, but now needs to take it to the next level.

"We all know where the corruption is, certainly in Illinois, everybody knows what's going on, everybody knows where the corruption is, but no one's willing to step up and say you know, this has got to stop and this is how it's gonna be fixed," said David McAloon, (R) candidate for 11th Congressional District.

Darrel Miller is a lifelong farmer who lives downstate. He's running on one promise: to restructure the financial system by breaking up big banks.

"I want to see about the half-dozen of our biggest financial institutions broken up so that if they fail again, they won't have to be bailed out. They won't need a stimulus package," said Darrel Miller, (R) candidate for 11th Congressional District.

The incumbent, Halverson, served in the Illinois State Senate for over a decade before being elected to Congress in 2008. Since she's running unopposed in the primary, she says she will not focus on a re-election campaign until after February 2nd.