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Six Democrats vying in Tuesday’s primary to fill Bustos’ 17th Congressional District seat

Six Democrats are making a bid in Tuesday’s primary to replace 17th Congressional District U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos of East Moline, who decided not to seek reelection after her fifth term in office.

Two of the six responded to surveys submitted by Shaw Local News Network seeking their positions on a wide variety of topics.

Here is a sampling of their answers. Links to the questionnaires are provided in the story.

Angie Normoyle

Angie Normoyle has been a Rock Island County Board member since 2019. Before that, she served four years on the Moline School Board, from 2007 to 2011. She is a communication studies professor at Augustana College.

On national issues, Normoyle supports a woman’s right to have an abortion and making marijuana legal in all states.

Corporations and the wealthiest 1% of Americans do not pay enough in taxes and, as such, Normoyle said she supports revisions to the tax code.

It’s time for the country to deal with the realities of climate change, she said.

“We need to shift to a 21st century clean economy that will prepare for the realities of changing weather patterns, create a wide range of high-paying union infrastructure jobs, hold big companies accountable for the pollution they generate, and remove loopholes that incentivize payouts instead of clean energy,” Normoyle said.

As for her plans to bring good-paying manufacturing jobs back to the area, she said: “Much of the population in the 17th District is employed in manufacturing jobs. Preserving their employment and expanding opportunities for good-paying union jobs is one of my top priorities.

“To do this, we need to first modernize our educational programs by updating technology in schools and offering training in the skilled trades. Further, we need to prioritize U.S. manufacturing and prevent off-shoring by offering incentives for companies to keep production and business at home.”

Go to normoyleforcongress.com to learn more.

Litesa Wallace

Litesa Wallace of Rockford is a former three-term 67th District state representative who describes herself as a full-time candidate.

She favors reestablishing the $3,500 per child Child Tax Credit, making child care accessible and affordable, and providing health care to everyone.

“We need to restructure our tax system to help working families keep more of what they earn,” Wallace said. “We need to raise the minimum wage. Most of all, we need to focus on what’s best for the millions and millions of working people who live in our country instead of letting wealthy special interests set our national agenda.”

She, too, believes corporations and the wealthiest Americans should be paying more taxes.

And when it comes to bringing back manufacturing jobs, Wallace believes that the nation doesn’t do enough “to support commercialization and mass production of promising new technologies. We have to address the ‘valley of death’ that keeps so many startups from reaching their full potential,” she said.

To that end, she supports Sen. Chris Coons’ proposal to charter a new Industrial Finance Corp., “a bank owned by the U.S. government to provide long-term loans and other critical funding for new American manufacturing facilities.”

The IFC would work similarly to the Development Finance Corp., a bank that Congress authorized in 2019.

“But here’s the thing that really troubles me: The DFC was created to make investments abroad,” she said. “So we have a mechanism to finance a new EV factory in Ljubljiana but not Rock Island. That doesn’t make any sense at all.

“The IFC wouldn’t just create jobs through new manufacturing. It also would provide funding to help existing companies invest in new technologies to reduce their carbon emissions. That would benefit all of us.”

Go to litesawallaceforcongress.com to learn more.

Also running for a spot on the November ballot are:

• Eric Sorensen of Moline, a former TV meteorologist and a proponent of gay and transgender rights. He has served on the boards of Clock Inc. and The Project of the Quad Cities, initiatives that aim to connect vulnerable individuals to health services. In Rockford, he started Project Tornado, an initiative that brings meteorologists into schools to help kids feel safer during severe weather. https://www.ericforillinois.com/

• Jonathan Loegemann, a high school business teacher and Rockford alderman, is a member of the Illinois National Guard and an Afghanistan veteran. During his time in city government, he has supported projects bringing more than 1,000 jobs to Rockford, helped increase diversity on city boards, expanded access to affordable preschool and supported establishing a tuition-free college partnership between Northern Illinois University and qualifying Rockford Public Schools students. https://www.jonathanlogemann.com/

• Marsha Williams of Channahon is an activist and trade school admissions adviser for 160 Driving Academy in Peoria, Moline and Rockford. She favors universal health care, tuition-free community colleges and trade schools, and a Green New Deal “to create millions of jobs and fix our broken infrastructure.” https://marshawilliamsforcongress.com/

• Jackie McGowan of Palos Hills is a former stockbroker and cannabis lobbyist. She supports universal health care and more economic aid for farmers and small businesses. She also plans to enact legislation to immediately release 40,000 nonviolent cannabis offenders. https://www.jackiemcgowan.com/

The newly drawn 17th District encompasses all or parts of Carroll, Whiteside, Winnebago, Stephenson, Rock Island, Knox, Mercer, Henry, Peoria, Fulton, Tazewell, McDonough and McNeal counties.

Two Republicans also are facing off in their respective primary: Esther Joy King of East Moline and Charlie Helmick of Silvis.

Editor’s note: To read all the candidates questionnaires submitted to Sauk Valley Media and Shaw Local News Network, go to www.saukvalley.com, click on “Election” under the logo, and then choose the race.

Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.