Arrington joins race for Obama's former Senate seat

Originally Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2009, 6:19 pm
Last Updated: Aug. 11, 2009, 11:23 pm
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By Brandy Donaldson,
Republican John Arrington of Harvey has thrown his hat into the 2010 race for the U.S. Senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama.

Mr. Arrington joins U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk in the bid for the GOPnomination. The winner will face the winner of the Democrat nomination. Democrats in the race include state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Cheryle Jackson, president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. The primary election is Feb. 2.

"I'm not a professional politician. I'm just someone who wants to serve my country," Mr. Arrington, a Harvard-educated businessman and community organizer, said Tuesday.

Mr. Arrington is not entirely new on the political scene. He served eight years on the Harvey City Council and chaired the city's Economic Development Committee. In 2004, he ran for the U.S. Senate as a candidate in the Republican special election central committee process.

"I love America and Ihave a strong passion for the principles that have made America the great nation it is," he said. "I'm running to stand for and advocate those principles. When America ceases to be good, it ceases to be great. So we have to get back to these principles that made it great."

Mr. Arrington is a self-described, "strong, pro-life conservative" with "a track record in the community of service and accomplishment."

"If Illinois continues electing professional politicians and those who are after their own interests, we will continue to get the same results," he added. "It's time we begin looking at people who may not be career politicians, but have a track record in their communities. That's what I bring to the table."

Mr. Arrington's platform includes government reform, the economy, health care and education.

"In Illinois, on some levels we've become the pariah of the country. The Land of Lincoln has become a laughing stock," he said. "One area of Illinois politics I'll be looking at is government reform to bring a level of integrity back to Illinois politics."

Serving in a federal capacity will allow him to make a larger impact on issues like health care and the economy, Mr. Arrington said.

He is in favor of "taxing policies that give businesses the opportunity to create jobs for Americans," and opposed to socialized health care, he said.

Education also is atop Mr. Arrington's list of priorities.

"If you really want to overhaul something in this country, health care would not be the one to start off with," he said. "Education should be what we start with, giving parents a choice and bringing education closer to the state level."

The U.S. Senate is where he can accomplish his goals for Illinois and the nation, Mr. Arrington added.

"The Senate, in particular, has a major role, not only in state politics, but in the direction of our country. So we need individuals there who have the interests of our country at heart," he said.

"There's a void in leadership in Illinois. People expect good leaders that represent them and a government that represents their interests. I'm running to represent the people of Illinois."

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