The two Republican candidates for the 75th District House seat in next Tuesday’s primary election have differing views on what the top issues are facing the district.
The race pits incumbent David Welter of Morris against challenger Jed Davis. The two candidates are vying to represent a newly redrawn district that encompasses a large portion of Kendall County, northern Grundy County, eastern La Salle County and southwestern DeKalb County.
Welter has held the seat since 2016 when he was appointed to succeed John D. Anthony, who resigned. Welter subsequently gained election to the seat in November 2016.
Welter previously served a six-year stint on the Grundy County Board, including two years as chairman. Away from the General Assembly, he works as a human resource manager with Illinois Truck & Equipment and as a realtor.
Davis, who resides in Newark, is a civil engineer who serves as a Newark Village Trustee and as board president of Parkview Christian Academy in Yorkville.
Asked in a Shaw Local News Network questionnaire what the top issue is facing the district and how he would address it, Welter cited a number of issues, including “supporting and strengthening the robust energy sector jobs in our community, reducing crime, providing tax relief and empowering parents and local school districts to make decisions for their children’s education.”
Davis said the top issue is the need to elect an “actual conservative” to represent the district.
“The current representative is a Republican by name, but voted to eliminate gender distinctions, increase gas taxes, increase utility rates and restrict gun rights,” Davis said.
Davis also charged that Welter fundraises with anti-gun, anti-life liberals and supports U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon.
“We desperately need an actual conservative,” Davis said.
On the issues of rising inflation and taxes, Welter said inflation is mostly a federal issue, but suggested there are measures the state can take to mitigate it.
Welter said the pattern of politicians raising state taxes and fees has gone on for too long and needs to change immediately.
“If we attract more residents and businesses with a friendlier tax policy, we will have more consumers spending money and increased revenues coming in from a larger, more stable tax base. Achieving this is a goal we should all be working toward right now.”
Welter continued, “We need to prevent further unnecessary tax hikes from being imposed, while also encouraging new businesses to locate and invest in Illinois, which will lead to more people choosing to move to Illinois for jobs and opportunity.”
Davis charged that Illinois is the highest taxed state in the nation with the second highest gas tax in the nation.
“Sadly your current Republican representative voted for this gas tax,” Davis said of Welter. “So let’s start with … stop voting with Democrats for tax increases.”
He added, “We can’t spend and tax our way to prosperity. How about we cut waste and lower spending.”
Both candidates advocated for supporting law enforcement when asked what can be done at the state level to address crime.
“We need to support our police. It’s that simple,” Welter said, adding, “We need to give our officers, troopers, and sheriffs the tools and resources necessary to do their job and keep us safe. We need to reshape how we view and treat those who wear the badge.
“Back and fund the police and ditch this ridiculous cashless bail,” Davis said.
The candidates voiced differing approaches on what the state’s response should be in the event COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths rise again.
Welter proposed limiting “the governor’s ability to use executive orders that impact people’s livelihoods and their kids education with an up-or-down vote by the people’s elected representatives in the General Assembly.”
Davis contended the implications and risks associated with COVID-19 are now known.
“There should be no further mitigations imposed by the state. Let people choose for themselves,” David said.
Asked to identify one bill that they would like the legislature to pass next year, Welter expressed support for legislation that would rein-in the governor’s authority.
Davis said he would like to see legislation pass that would “reclaim our public schools, starting with eliminating critical race theory and the current sex education curriculum from our classrooms.”