Fearing a Cook County takeover of Will County politics, a Frankfort man is planning to run for a state Senate seat against Democratic incumbent Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields.
J.C. "Tuck" Marshall, 65, was slated by the Will County Republican Party to oppose Hutchinson in the 2012 election for Illinois' 40th District Senate seat.
Newly drawn district maps extended Hutchinson's reach to portions of Kankakee and Will County, including the southern parts of Frankfort and New Lenox. Her district still represents parts of and Chicago Heights as well. New maps also brought longtime Chicago Democrat Bobby Rush's district into the south suburbs.
"I bring a Will County perspective," Marshall said. "We’re more rural. People have the right to be represented. What’s happened here, we have no federal representation. "(Hutchinson is) probably a very nice lady, but she's in that same party. How could she have anything to do with us out here?"
Hutchinson did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
Previously, the Will County portion was represented by Republican Leader Christine Radogno, but her 41st District shifted north. The 19th Senate District shifted west to cover the northern parts of Frankfort and New Lenox, but Democrat Michael Hastings of Orland Hills is running unopposed for that seat.
Marshall ran for a Will County Board seat in March and lost, so because it's after the primary he needed to be slated by a county central committee. The Will County Republicans, led by chairman Ed Ronkowski, slated Marshall as their candidate.
"His view on keeping taxes down, the rights of citizens and not having the government be a burden is a view that is shared by the large majority of the people," Ronkowski said. "We're in great opposition to the Cook County machine that’s been voting in these tax increases."
Marshall criticized Hutchinson's support of quick-take eminent domain, which allows the state to seize property while avoiding the often lengthy legal process. He also said she would be willing to increase taxes, a stance he opposes.
His first priority, if elected, would be to oppose tax increases and instead work to audit all state departments to find ways to cut the budget. Another priority would be to bring more business to Illinois.
"We have to make government more friendly to business. There's too many regulations" Marshall said. The state's income tax increase, he added, "was horrible for businesses, especially in this economy."
Philosophically, Marshall said he supports "any way to protect your family," first noting that he wants concealed carry approved in Illinois. The National Firearms Association instructor said that philosophy extends to access to education, aid for senior citizens and more.
Finally, he's against a , saying it would be a burden on taxpayers.
Hutchinson was previously running for re-election uncontested, but Marshall would perhaps pull some votes from the more conservative Lincoln-Way area and Kankakee County. But would he be able to take his Will County perspective and represent the people in the more urban parts of the district?
"I want to represent everybody," he said, saying he'd be happy to have town hall meetings anywhere in the district. "This is our seat. We'll go where we have to go."