Rose, Brown and Barickman Are Winners In GOP Legislative Primaries
Republican legislative primaries in east-central Illinois yielded victories for Chapin Rose and Jason Barickman in the Illinois Senate, and Adam Brown in the Illinois House.
In all three races, there were no candidates on the Democratic side, although the party could place candidates on the ballot for the November election.
Rose, a five-term House member, won a decisive victory in the GOP Republican primary for the 51st senate district against opponent Tom Pliura.
Rose got about 70% of the vote after all precincts reported numbers. More than 7,500 votes were cast. He ran on a campaign that was paid special attention to the state's budget.
"I think they responded to my message," says Rose about voters in the district. "I said, 'Look, I've got a plan to cut $4.8 billion, to get rid of the deficit, to pay down the bills and to get us back to a surplus position for the state of Illinois."
Rose touted his ability to work "across the aisle" in the house, and said he'd do the same in the senate.
"We get a lot of things done for our area," Rose says. "We're going to be in the minority again obviously in the senate, so I won't change how I do anything."
Rose comes off a very aggressive election cycle. Pliura, a doctor and lawyer, pulled no punches when he released campaign ads claiming Rose refused to debate him. By the time election day came, the two had squared off in two separate debates, one in Danville and one in Bloomington.
"Mr. Pliura called me tonight," Rose says. "He was very gracious; very gentlemanly. I complemented his supporters on a well-run campaign."
The new general assembly session is still an election away. Until then, Rose is still representing the 110th Illinois House District. The House is in session Wednesday.
Meanwhile, State Representative Adam Brown is closer to reaching his second term.
The Republican beat his primary opponent, Robert Roman, with almost five times as many votes, in the 102nd Illinois House District GOP Primary. About 4,000 votes were cast total. And while Brown has secured the Republican nomination, there is no Democrat running against him in the general election, though someone could challenge him.
"I want to build a downstate coalition that stands up for our gun rights, stands up for our family values and stands up for a balanced budget that's going to be sustainable over the next many years," Brown says.
The win will require Brown to move from the old 101st House District to the newly drawn 102nd district, which includes all of Shelby County, the southern half of Champaign County and also hits the Indiana border. The new 102nd covers much of the territory in the old 101st, but not Brown's current home address. Brown says he felt confident his farming background would help him carry the election.
"My district, it is very agricultural," he adds.
At 26, Brown is already one of the youngest members in the Illinois General Assembly. And, there's a lot he wants to get accomplished.
"I want to build a group that holds the same conservative values as I do," Brown says. "I want to get folks elected to office locally, at the statewide level and nationally that are going to stress fiscal restraints."
Brown hopes to bring back some of the items of legislation from his current term. One bill he co-sponsored suggests that Cook County should become its own state.
"You know, you take a look at the problems here in Illinois," he says. "Chicago policies of grabbing our guns downstate, I believe, need to be pushed back against. Take a look at our state: Downstate values are not being properly represented in the legislature."
One issue Brown differed on with his opponent was on gambling expansion in the state. While Brown says the state has pegged gambling as a funding source for rural needs, he just doesn't "trust the state of Illinois to put that money toward agricultural purposes."
But perhaps there's no issue bigger for Brown than the state's budget.
"Specifically I would like to repeal the tax hike. Twelve hours before I was sworn into office, my predecessor voted for the largest tax hike in Illinois history," Brown says.
Jason Barickman's victory in the 53rd Senate District GOP primary comes at the expense of incumbent Senator Shane Cultra.
Barickman won with 62% of the vote, to Cultra's 38%.
Barickman was appointed to Cultra's old seat in the 105th House District, when Cultra was appointed to the Senate in 2010, to fill the seat left vacant by State Treasurer Dan Rutherford.
Barickman says he thinks he can bring a new perspective to the Senate.
"I think there's a lot of frustration in our state about the direction of our government", Barickman said Tuesday night, "and I hope that people see me as someone who can provide some new leadership, new energy, new ideas to a government that really cries out for new leadership.
Barickman says he supports lower tax rates, "meaningful" worker's compensation reform and an overhaul of state regulations on business.
Like Adam Brown, Barickman will have to move into his new district, if he's elected in November.