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Rock Island County State's Attorney Dora Villarreal has picked up another endorsement for her candidacy in the March 2020 primary election: State Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, endorsed Villarreal last week, saying he has confidence in her ability to lead. 

"As state representative, I’ve seen the growing problems of mental health and drug addiction that tend to overload our county courts and jails," Halpin said in a release. "From her first days in office, Dora Villarreal has focused on an agenda to create alternatives for non-violent offenders while prosecuting gun and gang violence to keep our communities safe.

"I support her candidacy because I have confidence in her pledge to work with the community to tackle these tough issues," Halpin said.

Rock Island County board members approved Villarreal in June to complete John McGehee's term, who left the office when he was appointed to replace retiring Rock Island County Judge Lori Lefstein. Villarreal will serve until the November 2020 election, and will be the Democratic nominee if she wins the primary election. 

Villarreal also has endorsements from four labor groups: the Quad-City Area UAW, the Tri-City Building & Construction Trades Council, Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 25 and Laborers Local 309.

Villarreal will have at least two challengers in the Democratic primary for March 17, 2020: Assistant State's Attorney Calvin Dane and attorney Herb Schultz. Attorney Kathleen Bailey is running as a Republican. 

  • U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, met with eighth grade students at Wilson Middle School in Moline Oct. 4. The students had been studying the Constitution for several weeks.  

"These students are the next generation of leaders and I'm glad I had the chance to share with them what it's like to serve in Congress, Bustos said. "Today's conversation gives me hope for the future of Illinois and their enthusiasm to learn more about our government is energizing."

  • State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, will be hosting a free citizenship workshop to help with the application process of becoming a U.S. citizen on Oct. 26 at 10 a.m. at the YWCA of Sauk Valley, 412 1st Ave., Sterling. 

The Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights will assist with the workshop and volunteers will be on hand to help assist applicants in completing the necessary forms and documents. Esperanza Legal Assistance Center representatives will be on hand to assist with the process.

"Navigating the citizenship process can be difficult," McCombie said in a release. "We want to help people understand the steps and work with those that want to come to our area for a better life for themselves, their families and generations to come. Our country is a nation of immigrants. I appreciate our partner organizations who have the hands-on expertise to assist my constituents with this opportunity."

To be eligible for citizenship, you must be a legal permanent resident of the United States for at least five years, or, if married to a U.S. citizen, for three years. Applicants are advised to bring required documents with them to the workshop. 

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