Republican gubernatorial candidate taps Bolingbrook woman as running mate

Boatman, 38, serves as the chair of the Will County Young Republicans

A Republican candidate running for governor of Illinois tapped a Bolingbrook woman to be his running mate in the in 2022 election.

Christopher Roper, 44, of Delavan is running for governor and announced Melissa Boatman as his candidate to be the next lieutenant governor of the state, according to a news release. Boatman, 38, is a Republican precinct committeewoman and the chair of the Will County Young Republicans.

Roper lauded Boatman for her work in local politics in Will County.

“She’s extremely intelligent when it comes to politics,” he said in an interview.

Boatman said if elected, she wants to focus on lowering the tax burden on residents and “bring back” businesses and people to the state.

She’s also worked to bring light to pollutants in water supplies in the Joliet area and advocated for police body cameras, according to a news release.

Roper said he’s a U.S. Army veteran and former police officer in Manito, near Peoria.

Boatman is the first Black woman to run for lieutenant governor in the state on a GOP ticket, according to the release.

The two join a crowded GOP field for the party’s nomination and a chance to challenge incumbent, first-term Gov. JB Pritzker, who was elected in 2018.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.