Unopposed in primary, local legislators gear up for general election

Originally Posted Online: March 18, 2014, 9:07 pm
Last Updated: March 18, 2014, 11:29 pm
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By Eric Timmons,

Most local candidates for state and federal office were unopposed in Tuesday's primary Their attention now will focus on the general election campaign ahead and the Nov. 4 ballot.

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, was one of those without a challenger in the primary. But she has been busily raising money for the general election where she'll face a rematch with Republican Bobby Schilling.

Mr. Schilling also was able to keep his powder dry during the primary season with no challenge to his campaign to win back the 17th District seat he lost to Rep. Bustos in 2012.

In 2012, the district race was one of the most expensive in the country, attracting almost $10 million from outside groups seeking to influence the result.

Rep. Bustos already has raised $1.2 million for her campaign. Mr. Schilling trails far behind, having raised $325,000, according to the federal election commission.

The campaign likely will focus on how to reverse the trend of stagnant or falling living standards for the middle class. Mr. Schilling believes the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, has made life for those families worse. Rep. Bustos generally supports the health care reform law and sees it as a way to increase economic security for middle class families.

At the state level, two veteran representatives have a free-run in the general election.

State Rep. Pat Verschoore, D-Milan, and state Rep. Don Moffitt, R-Gilson, had no primary challengers and are unopposed in the general election. Rep. Moffitt has represented the 74th District since 1993. Rep. Verschoore has had the 72nd District locked down since 2003.

Elsewhere, state Rep. Mike Smiddy, D-Hillsdale, will face Republican Jim Wozniak in the 71st District general election.

Rep. Smiddy, a former East Moline Correctional Center employee, was first elected in 2012. Mr. Wozniak is a Rock Island County Assistant State's Attorney who unsuccessfully ran for state's attorney in 2012.

Their campaign will see a tussle on government spending.

Mr. Wozniak sees ample room for cutbacks even if taxes are reduced. But Rep. Smiddy has said Illinois already has cut spending in recent years and deeper reductions will hit frontline services to the disadvantaged hard.

In the state senate, Moline firefighter Neil Anderson is challenging state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline in District 36. Mr. Anderson lost a 2012 run against Rep. Verschoore.

On Tuesday, the Republican said he wanted to offer "fresh leadership" and an alternative to the "pay to play" politics in Illinois that he thinks Sen. Jacobs represents.

Sen. Jacobs, who has served in the senate since 2005, said he wants to run a positive campaign, adding he was "disappointed" Mr. Anderson already has used a negative tone.

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Local events heading

  Today is Tuesday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2014. There are 106 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: A fine lumber mill is on the course of erection at Andalusia. A flouring mill at that location is doing a fine business.
1889 — 125 years ago: J.B. Lidders, past captain of Beardsley Camp, Sons of Veterans, returned from Paterson, N.Y., where he attended the National Sons of Veterans encampments.
1914 — 100 years ago: President Wilson announced that he had received from the imperial chancellor of Germany a noncommittal reply to his inquiry into a report that the emperor was willing to discuss terms of peace.
1939 — 75 years ago: Delegates at the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church in Springfield voted to raise the minimum pay of ministers so that every pastor would get at least $1,000 annually.
1964 — 50 years ago: An audience of more than 2,600 persons jammed into the Davenport RKO Orpheum theater with a shoe horn feasted on a Miller-Diller evening that was a killer night. Phyllis Diller sent the audience with her offbeat humor. And send them she did! It was Miss Diller's third appearance in the Quad-Cities area.
1989 — 25 years ago: A few years ago, a vacant lot on 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Rock Island was a community nuisance. Weeds grew as high 18 inches. Today, the lot has a new face, thanks to Michael and Sheila Rind and other neighbors who helped them turn it into a park three weeks ago.

(More History)