Local teacher announces writein campaign for state senate
October 7, 2016
Political Editor Jacob Marx sat down with State Senate candidate Kurt Fowler this past week. Fowler announced in September that he would be running a write-in campaign against Republican Jill Tracy for the Illinois 47th Senate seat.
Jacob Marx: Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
Kurt Fowler: Well, I have always lived in the 47th district my whole life and I grew up on a family farm kind of on the corner of Henderson County, McDonough County, and Hancock County. We had farmland in both McDonough and Henderson County and did business in all three plus more. I worked at Maytag in Galesburg for 21 years, starting off on the assembly line and ended up in maintenance. I was one of the final seven union workers when the plant closed. After the closure, I went back to school and got my teaching certification and my master’s degree. I am teaching art now at Monmouth-Roseville High School.
JPM: What made you want to run for state senate?
KF: I have always been interested in politics and I was really surprised that no one stepped up to the plate to run in John Sullivan’s spot. The opponent Jil Tracy has been a state representative before, has name recognition and money. But I don’t think that should scare someone away from running. I think that voters should always have a choice and it would have been nice for someone with name recognition and money had stepped up to the plate but since they didn’t, I did.
JPM: What are some of the platforms that matter to you the most?
KF: The platforms that matter to me most are basically irrelevant in my mind because I believe that even as a state senator that is a local election. This is a representative government and that is what democracy is all about. Party shouldn’t matter. Platforms shouldn’t matter. You should be getting elected to represent people in your area. It should be their voice that you are representing, not your voice.
JPM: If elected, what is your plan?
KF: If I am elected, I am going to do the best job I can do. I am not going to vote along party lines. I am going to vote for what people need in our area. I know what job loss is like, I want to protect every job I can. I have lived through it. I am in the education system and I go to school board meetings. I’ve seen the anguish on the school board members faces trying to come up with a budget when there is no funding coming from the state.
JPM: How are you going to best represent the students of Monmouth College?
KF: Students at Monmouth College, just as any college students, the MAP grant affects a lot of the lower income students. When Illinois doesn’t fund it properly, those students suffer more than other students because they have no other choice and the only other choice is to take on an enormous amount of debt. If you are poor, it is a huge amount of debt to payback.