Belleville Democrat C.J. Baricevic started the next Congressional campaign on July 20, declaring himself a candidate in the 12th District.
Baricevic, 29 year old lawyer and son of 20th Circuit chief judge John Baricevic, will seek the party nomination to oppose first term Congressman Mike Bost, a Republican from Carbondale.
He greeted more than 100 supporters in the steel workers union hall in Caseyville as, “people who clock in every morning and work all day long.”
The result of Republicans winning the House and Senate last year was "unbelievable," he said.
“Working people are our backbone," Baricevic said. "Without them we lose.”
“Mike Bost has been a rubber stamp for the Republican Party.”
Baricevic criticized Bost for sending jobs overseas.
He said values start with working families.
“When people ask my family where they come from, they don’t say Ireland or Germany," Baricevic said. "They say East St. Louis.”
While Baricevic put distance between himself and Bost, he also put distance between himself and his party.
“Solutions aren’t going to be Democratic or Republican,” he said after the event. “They’re going to be common sense."
Though his party would restrict electrical generation from coal, his written statement promised to promote Illinois coal.
“Coal is key,” he said.
He agreed with signs on union hall doors favoring construction of the Keystone oil pipeline, which labor supports but the party as a whole has blocked.
A trade deal that he criticized Bost for supporting came from President Obama.
Baricevic accounted for the differences between party positions and his own by saying, “I will be a 100 percent advocate for working people.”
“The Democratic Party does great things," he said.
On the nuclear agreement with Iran, he said, “I am absolutely in favor of any kind of agreement that precludes Iran from obtaining a nuclear arsenal.”
Baricevic practices at Chatham and Baricevic, specializing in labor law and injuries.
He has represented clients in criminal cases as an appointed public defender.
According to a biography, he shoveled asphalt for Fairview Heights, helped build Illinois Routes 3 and 159, and worked below coke ovens at Granite City Steel.
Baricevic attended St. Albert the Great Catholic School, St. Louis University High, Miami University and Southern Illinois Law School.
He released a statement that he would fight to reduce income inequality.
The statement also says that he would fight for continued investment in Southern Illinois University; support tax policies to keep manufacturers in Southern Illinois; push for greater college financial aid; protect Social Security; support farmers and oppose turning Medicare into a voucher program.