News Local/State

Republican Kristin Williamson Running For Rep. Jakobsson’s Seat


A Republican candidate jumped into the race on Tuesday for the Illinois legislature to replace Urbana Democrat Naomi Jakobsson, who is not seeking another term in the Illinois House.

Kristin Williamson, 32, of Urbana is the vice-chair of the Champaign County Republican Party, and she works for an employee benefits firm in Champaign.

“I have a background of being able to work with diverse groups of people to identify solutions, and I think all of that lends itself well to being a representative of Champaign-Urbana,” she said.

Williamson said she does not support adopting a progressive income tax, and she said she does not feel any current proposal to address Illinois’ massive pension crisis works.

“The first thing that we need to do is make sure that the pensions are funded,” she said. “We need to bring all parties to the table and start to have real conversations about what we need to do in order to fund them today and make sure that the system is sustainable.”

Williamson added that the state must get its “fiscal house in order” so that it can fully meet its financial obligations to schools, like the University of Illinois.

“The other thing as it relates to higher education is to encourage more Illinois residents to come here to school,” she explained. “I think the Research Park is a great piece of inspiration for students to come here….we have to collaborate with the business community to where people can start producing more jobs and that we make to where people want to come here and work on their startups and their creations.”

If elected, Williamson also said she would vote for a same-sex marriage bill if it came up for a vote in Springfield.

“I do support same-sex marriage,” she said. "I believe that this country was built on individual freedoms and liberties, and as an advocate of this community, I will advocate for the rights of my neighbors.”

Democrat Michael Richards, who sits on the Champaign County Board, is circulating petitions to run against Williamson.