Democrat Jonathan Logemann has announced his candidacy for Illinois' 17th Congressional District.
Logemann, 34, is 2nd Ward Alderman for the city of Rockford; he was first elected in 2017 and won re-election to a second term in April. A teacher for 11 years, he teaches at Auburn High School in addition to coaching baseball and basketball. Logemann also serves as an infantry company commander in the Illinois Army National Guard.
Current U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, announced in April that she would not seek a sixth term in Congress.
Logemann said he was inspired to run because he feels a call to serve.
"My country is very important to me and my community is very important to me," Logemann said. "As a teacher and with my service in the Illinois National Guard and as an alderman ... none of these are glamorous jobs at all, but service to community is something that's very important to me.
"In Congress, we need regular people. I'm a teacher; the conversations I have with my wife around our kitchen table are some of the same conversations most people have around their kitchen table. Those issues — how are we going to save enough money for our kids' education and car payment? Those are the types of conversations I have at my kitchen table. It gives me a good view of what a lot of people in our district are experiencing.
"It truly bothers me about the level of leadership we have in Congress and in government right now," he said. "You can talk to any colleague of mine and they'll tell you, I am a no drama, no nonsense, results-oriented person. That's the type of representative I want to be for the 17th District in Illinois."
Logemann grew up in Lancaster, Wis., and graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, with a bachelor of arts degree in social studies education. He moved to Rockford in 2014 to be closer to family. He and his wife, Sarah, also a teacher, have two daughters.
Logemann served a tour of duty in Afghanistan from Sept. 2019 to April 2020 with the Army National Guard. He said the recent withdrawal of American troops was a "surreal experience to watch" and "painful to see" since there are a few language interpreters he worked with who remain in Afghanistan.
"I utilized Rep. Bustos' office to try and help some of the interpreters that I worked with in Afghanistan," he said. "Thankfully, two of the interpreters I worked with made it back to the United States, but they are worried about their families."
Logemann is the only Democrat at this time to formally announce his candidacy for the 17th District. If there is no Democratic primary contest, he will face one of two Republican candidates; Joy Esther King or Charlie Helmick, both of East Moline.
"I really think my leadership style has a results-oriented, mission-first approach and constituent service, too," he said. "That approach to governing is something people are yearning for in the state and nationally. And that's what I'm going to bring. On city council, one thing folks know me for is that if they call Jon Logemann, they're going to get a phone call back. Anyway they reach out to me, I will make sure I address their concerns.
"Constituent service is deeply important to me. That is the crux of our government; we have to be there for our citizens."