Rock Island County political parties gear up for November

Published: Sep. 6, 2022 at 2:59 PM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND CO., Ill. (KWQC) - Political parties in Rock Island County geared up their bases for the midterm elections, on Labor Day.

The Rock Island County Republicans held their first Labor Day event, The 60-day Campaign Kick-off and picnic at Schwiebert Park.

Some candidates speaking, advocated for stronger protections of the Second Amendment and election integrity.

Republican candidate for Illinois State House District 72 Tom Martens said the state needs Voter ID laws.

“You need an ID to get registered to vote, so I don’t see what the big deal is. That’s one thing we got to fix,” Martens said. “We need to get rid of mass mail-in voting, mass early voting, things like that.”

After a two-year hiatus, the Rock Island County Democratic Party held its 53rd Annual Labor Day Picnic, which included a visit from Governor JB Pritzker.

Many candidates who spoke at the event advocated for the Worker’s Rights Amendment. Democratic Candidate for Illinois State House District 72 Gregg Johnson said the amendment will codify Illinois as an at-will employment state.

“If we’re successful in November and we become the first state to actually put this in our constitution, it’s going to be labor day every day starting November 9 in the state of Illinois,” Johnson said.

On a day meant to celebrate the American labor movement both candidates vying for Cheri Bustos’s District 17 congressional seat said they support what unions stand for.

Republican candidate for IL-17 Esther Joy King said she believes unionizing is a protected right.

“I am absolutely with the hard-working families of Illinois,” Joy King said. “I believe organizing is our first amendment right in the constitution.”

Democratic candidate for IL-17 Eric Sorensen said he will work to bring union jobs to the state.

“We’re proud of what we do here, even if Washington and Chicago don’t get it,” Sorensen said. “I’m going to fight for good-paying union jobs.”

During his remarks to party members, Pritzker spoke about what he viewed as his accomplishments in his first term, like passing a $15 minimum wage and the SAFE-T Act.

“I’m excited about the fact that workers are able to get wages that they deserve,” Pritzker said. “They’re able to compete for their wages, and ... come one come all Illinois is employing people.”

Republican candidate for Governor Darren Bailey was in Naperville, for Labor Day. Over the holiday weekend, he made appearances in Orion, Kewanee, and Rock Falls.

Part of the SAFE-T Act includes ending cash bail in the state. Republican Candidate for Rock Island County Sheriff Patrick Moody said law enforcement was excluded in coming up with the law.

“It’s going to create more crime,” Moody said. “It’s going to make more criminals out there and not being held accountable for what they’re doing. and I think it’s, it’s gonna be terrible once it takes effect on January 1.”

Among other contenders for local seats, Republican County Clerk candidate Marian Stallings spoke at Schwiebert park.

Meanwhile, for the Democrats, Mike Halpin running for the 36th State Senate District and incumbent County Clerk Karen Kinney spoke at the fairgrounds.