NEWS

74th District Republican candidates visit Aledo

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
Republican symbol carries the U.S. flag at party headquarters on east side of Aledo.

Donald Trump didn't show up for Thursday's Republican presidential debate, but all three candidates for the state House seat from the 74th District were present for the Mercer County Republican's general meeting in Aledo.

A number of hopefuls for countywide office also were on hand.

Candidates were given five minutes to talk and appeared in alphabetical order.

Mike DeSutter of rural Woodhull said "the goal is to get a Republican elected." Someone who would "not do what's popular but what's right."

DeSutter talked about his background, including his long-time involvement with Farm Bureau. He apologized for not having campaign brochures available.

"My wife, she was banging on doors in Orion and took all my literature," he said.

DeSutter struck a chord echoed by all three candidates when he said, "the other two guys are quality people."

Wayne Saline of Rio, talked about how living all his life on a farm taught him about hard work and dedication to community. Saline said that during his nine years a chairman of the Knox County Board's Finance Committee, "We never borrowed a dime."

The cancer survivor talked about another type of cancer.

"Springfield right now to me seems to have a cancer, (House Speaker) Michael Madigan," Saline said. "We've got to get rid of Mike Madigan."

Dan Swanson of Alpha talked about his years in the military, including time in Iraq. He also pointed out he has helped veterans as superintendent of the Henry County Veterans Assistance Commission.

Swanson called for a reduction of regulations on farmers and small businessmen.

"We need to encourage our small businessmen," he said.

He also said he will protect the unborn and spoke of the importance of a strong National Guard, police and first responders.

All three men grew up on farms within a few miles of each other. Their fathers knew each other, they know one another and their children know each other.

"I'm not going to get up and talk bad about my competition," Swanson said. "If I'm a salesman and can't sell myself, shame on me."

The winner of the March primary will face Democrat Bill Butts of Galesburg in November. Butts is unopposed.