Dwight Kay, vice president of Cassens Transport in Edwardsville, has announced his candidacy for state representative in the 112th District.
Kay, who has never before sought public office, filed his petitions Monday to run as a Republican against incumbent State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Collinsville).
The district includes Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Collinsville and parts of Troy, Granite City, Fairview Heights and O'Fallon.
"Our state government is broken and our current leadership doesn't have the courage to fix it," Kay stated in a press release.
He pointed to the legislature's record overtime session in 2007 as the symbol of a fiscal and leadership crisis in state government.
"Gridlock has infected almost every level of our state government," Kay stated. "Is it too much for voters to expect our General Assembly to pass a budget in a timely manner and provide the necessary funds for our schools, for our healthcare and for other necessary services? We send our representatives to Springfield to solve problems, not play politics."
The Illinois General Assembly normally adjourns in May, but legislators are still at it in Springfield. The gridlock is responsible for the longest overtime session in state history.
Kay's career includes 35 years experience with Cassens Transport. His professional work includes weekly interaction with major automotive manufacturers, his press release states. He is the former chairman of the National Automobile Transporters Association Claims Council.
He said he knows how to balance a budget for a major organization.
"When our company conducts business with auto manufacturers we could never exhibit the fiscal irresponsibility that we're seeing in Springfield," Kay said. "We would end up bankrupt, and new cars wouldn't make it to dearlership lots."
Hoffman, who is currently serving his eighth term as state representative, had a total of $781,441.79 in campaign cash on hand at the end of the last reporting period, June 30.
Hoffman, who is an "of counsel" attorney with the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River, has steadily fended off challenges through the years.
His toughest battle came in 1998 when St. Clair County Republican Steve Reeb mounted a tough challenge. Reeb got 45 percent of the vote in that election.
Most recently, Hoffman has faced Carol Kugler of Collinsville. She ran against Hoffman in 2004 as a write-in candidate, gathering 12 percent of the vote, or 5,368 total votes.
In 2006, Kugler ran as a Republican and got 40 percent of the vote.
According to Kay, the lack of a comprehensive state budget had a dramatic effect on local services because the Governor's office and legislators failed to agree on the enactment of the Budget Implementation Act before adjourning.
"We are talking about guaranteed earmarked money that should have been given to our local school districts almost six months ago," Kay state.
"In fact, according to the State Board of Education, the Collinsville Unit School District has been waiting on $1.6 million and the Edwardsville Unit District has been waiting on more than $2.7 million."
Kay has been a member of the Illinois Chamber's Employment Law Counsel since 2004. He also served as finance chairman for Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier's campaign.
He serves as an elder of the Hope Presbyterian Church in Collinsville. He and his wife Nancy, and daughter Christy, reside in Glen Carbon. His son Brad attends the University of Illinois in Champaign.