BUSHNELL, Ill. (NEWS3) — Illinoisans are about a month away from the 2020 primary elections and locally, 93rd District’s State Representative Democratic candidates will battle to see who receives a spot on the ballot to face Republican incumbent State Rep. Norine Hammond.
NEWS3 recently talked with both democratic candidates who are trying to campaign hard before the March primary. The 26-year-old Bushnell native Emiliano Vera explained why he chose to run and why voters should elect him into office.
“Families like mine, are the first ones to get thrown under the bus,” Vera said.
Vera said he’s running to be a voice for families who work hard but are left behind.
“I know where I stand. I’m going to choose working people over corporations,” he said.
Vera has a strong background in education. He currently works as a full-time substitute and resource teacher in the Bushnell-Prairie City School District.
His mom and sister, Angela and Rebecca Vera, said he’s always been passionate about politics. They always tell him to never give up in what he believes in.
“Stay true to yourself. Don’t let other people change your mind,” Angela said. “He’s a deep thinker; hard-worker; studies a lot,” Rebecca said.
Emiliano is confident he can win the primary election and plans to become the next representative for the 93 district.
“I’ll take a fight against a corporate businessman any day and then I’ll take that same fight and take it against Norine,” he said.
Vera said he’s going to do all it takes to bring resources that have been lacking far too long.
“We have to look at the things that we need that the market is not providing,” he said.
Vera said there’s enough talking going on; he wants to put talk into action.
“What we have been doing, just like vague, bland statements, about we need to focus on economic development; that’s not going to cut it,” he said.
Universal healthcare, more jobs and better public education is what Vera said is at the top of his list that he’s ready to take to Springfield.
“Together we can do it. And I’m the only one on the ticket this way around that’s going to be fighting that fight,” he said.
Vera is the first openly gay candidate for state representative in downstate Illinois. He received his Bachelor’s degree in education and social policy from Northwestern University. He also has a Master’s degree in international relations from the University of the Americas in Mexico.
Vera is running against Rushville resident, Scott Stoll, in the March 17 primary election.
Both candidates will be live in our NEWS3 studio on February 26. The League of Women Voters will host a candidate debate forum at 7 p.m. NEWS3 will carry the forum live that night on our YouTube channel NEWS3 WIU.