Randy Keith Wants To Move From Piatt County Board To Illinois House
Piatt County Chairman Randy Keith says he's a firm conservative who's ready to work with Democrats to get things done in Springfield. Keith talked about his candidacy for the 101st Illinois House District seat.
Bill Mitchell of Forsyth is stepping down after his current term, and Keith is one of three candidates in the March 20th primary for the Republican nomination to take his place. The other two candidates are former Decatur City Councilman Dan Caulkins and Cerro Gordo School Board President Todd Henricks
"We need workers over there (in Springfield)," said Keith. "We need folks who are going to fix things. That's my whole deal. They don't fix anything anymore."
Keith says he's one conservative who's ready to work with Democrats in order to solve Illinois' problems, such as the under-financed state pension system.
"The only way these pensions are going to get solved, it's going to take all the Republicans at the table, all the Democrats and all the unions. they all have to have a seat," said Keith. "They all have to have a voice. And we need to listen to each other."
While saying he's a supporter of Gov. Bruce Rauner, Keith thinks the governor made a mistake by going on the attack against state employee unions.
"You need them to help fix this problem," said Keith.
With at least 25 new legislators expected to come into the Illinois House next year, Keith is hoping that some of them can come together, no matter what party they belong to, to spearhead passage of new proposals.
"Don't give your power to Mr. Madigan, don't give your power to the governor, and we can fix these things," said Keith.
(Rival candidate Dan Caulkins has also talked about organizing a bipartisan group of freshman lawmakers, but Keith says he was the first in the 101st District race to voice it).
As to specific ideas for fixing Illinois' pension problems, Keith says he doesn't trust the statements coming from state officials on the subject. He says he'll doesn't want to make any specific proposals about state pensions, "until I get (to Springfield) and I actually see what the numbers are."
Keith says the current business climate in Illinois is "terrible," but that badmouthing the state is not constructive. He says Illinois continues to have many advantages that make it attractive to business — like low energy prices and a good transportation network — and they should be promoted..
Keith also wants to promote the rebuilding of Illinois' infrastructure as a way to show the business sector that Illinois government is serious about improving the state's business climate.
Keith is opposed to the legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinois. While saying he's still open to arguments for legalization, Keith believes that marijuana is too dangerous as a potential gateway drug for some people to justify its legalization.