Jennifer Rice photo
With various Democratic candidates conversing in the background, former Rep. Bill Foster takes time at the recent Aurora Democrats Family Picnic to chat with a constituent. Foster is running in the newly created 11th Congressional District.
By Jennifer Rice
Democratic candidates got a chance to talk and mingle with constituent and supporters during Saturday’s annual Aurora Democrats Family picnic held at Cool Acres along the Fox River.
Candidates from various races had an opportunity to interact with the public, while at the same time, circulate petitions for signatures for their upcoming elections.
“We have races up and down the ballot,” said Aurora Democrats Chairman Bill Catching. He acknowledged that some mainstream news agencies are pointing the finger at President Obama and the Democratic Party for the nations current economic situation.
He countered that notion by saying, “We need to work hard and educate people about what our plans are and that’s to put people to work with a decent wage,” Catching said.
With the recent redrawing of Illinois’ congressional lines, the congressional map has new districts and expanded older districts. Former Rep. Bill Foster is running in one of the newly created districts – the 11th Congressional District. He said he understands he is saying goodbye to some of his former constituents, but is welcoming new ones.
“There is a long list of things that we’ve done that we can be proud of,” Foster said. “But we have to stay strong and confident and elect people to say ‘no’ to what the Republicans are trying to do and the road they are trying to send us down,” he explained.
Also running in the 11th District is Auroran Juan Thomas. He was unable to attend to attend the picnic, but his wife Angie spoke on his behalf, stressing that Thomas has roots in Aurora and more than 15 years of service in the community.
“He’s running to give the voters a choice,” Angie said. “This district is very diverse with issues and concerns that need to be addressed,” she explained.
Running for the State Senate seat in the 28th District, a seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Chris Lauzen, is Corinne Pierog, who also said she is excited about the newly created district. “I look forward to getting all your support,” Pierog told participants at the picnic.
She added that she takes pride in saying, “We will bring down Jim Oberweis,” a Republican who has unofficialy announced he will run for Lauzen’s senate seat. Oberweis and Lauzen were previously engaged in a bitter primary fight in the 14th Congressional District. Oberweis won, then lost to Foster in the general election.
In the 84th District, two candidates, Stephanie Kifowit and Ken Maurice spoke to the crowd about their reasons for running. Aurora’s 3rd Ward Alderman Kifowit, who announced her candidacy Sept. 1, said she’s worked really hard for the constituents of Aurora.
“I’ve been listening to issues related to unemployment and people losing their homes,” Kifowit said. “These are issues not only on the city level, but also on the state level.”
Maurice, a lifelong resident of Aurora, officially announced his candidacy Tuesday. “I want to fight to represent the wishes as well as the priorities of the people of the 84th district,” he explained.
Kane County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Guethle said Aurora is very important to the government of Kane County. “It holds a lot of votes,” he explained. “We have a lot of great candidates. We have an excellent line up for 2012,” Guethle added.
Jennifer Rice’s e-mail address is Jen@foxvalleylabornews.com.