EDWARDSVILLE – Maryville resident Wendy Erhart plans to use her experience as a businesswoman to bring reform to the economy of Illinois if elected to the 112th State House District.
She will be running against current representative, Katie Stuart (D-Springfield), and former State Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Wheaton). She announced her intent to run Sept. 13.
Erhart spoke with the Record, offering her critique of Stuart. She feels that her approach to helping the people of Illinois would be a strong contrast to that of Stuart’s.
“Katie said she would go to Springfield and stand up for our homeowners, our businesses and our families,” Erhart said regarding Stuart. “She said she would oppose a tax increase, focus on eliminating wasteful spending, and work across the aisle to craft a balanced budget.”
Erhart also feels that Stuart played a pivotal role in the tax hikes that have plagued Illinois residents as well. According to Erhart, Stuart’s support of House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) is part of the problems faced by Illinois.
“She cast her first vote to make Mike Madigan the longest-serving speaker of the house in U.S. history and her second vote to approve the rules that give Madigan all his power,” Erhart said. “He returned the favor by raising our taxes and passing another unbalanced budget. Our homeowners, our businesses and our families deserve better.”
“Unlike Katie, I’ll advocate for reform and against business as usual,” Erhart said when asked what she would do differently. “I’ll vote to fire Mike Madigan and I’ll work to grow jobs and strengthen our economy by fighting for lower taxes, a truly balanced budget, and cuts to wasteful spending. Last but not least, I’ll fight for term limits and a legislative map making process that is independent of partisan considerations.”
Erhart also believes that being a businesswoman instead of a politician will be a positive contribution.
“Career politicians are responsible for many of our state’s problems, and they are the last people we should be looking to for solutions,” Erhart said. “As a businesswoman, I’ll bring a fresh perspective to Springfield.”
Lastly, Erhart explained why she feels the economy of Illinois is one of the biggest issues faced by the state.
“The biggest issue we face as a state is our stagnant economy,” Erhart said. “Absent reform, our financial situation will continue to deteriorate as we lose jobs, businesses and taxpayers to neighboring states. The recent 33 percent tax increase will only make things worse. Instead of asking for more each year from taxpayers, we should be focused on growing our economy, jobs, and tax base.”
This will be Erhart’s first time running for public office. She graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1993 and is currently a strategic initiatives manager with Justine Petersen, a local community development lender.
The primary and general statewide elections will take place on March 20, 2018 and Nov. 6, 2018, respectively.