Madison - St. Clair Record

Saturday, August 17, 2019

State senate candidate promising fiscal responsibility exited bankruptcy in 2013

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Feb 2, 2018


A Republican candidate for state senate, running on a platform of fiscal responsibility, ran up more than $175,000 in unsecured debt, according to bankruptcy documents at the Southern District of Illinois.

Rafael Him, 47, of New Baden is running in a four-way primary race March 20 for a seat currently occupied by Republican State Sen. Kyle McCarter.

On his campaign site, Him states that he will “fight for fiscal responsibility” and a “balanced budget as written in the Illinois Constitution."


However, in April 2010, Him and his wife filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition indicating $178,351.33 in unsecured claims from about two dozen creditors, mainly for lines of credit, including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Macy’s, and numerous others.

Together with secured claims - mortgage debt of $194,000 - Him and his wife itemized $372,351 in total debt.

The bankruptcy was discharged in October 2013 after Him paid a total of $16,786. Roughly $12,348 was distributed to the creditors and $4,437 was paid for fees and court costs.

In his campaign announcement, Him stated “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, our state is in a state of emergency without a budget, every day we go $11 million further into debt. Not only is our spending out of control, our state’s population is declining.”

“Lawmakers need to change the way they do business and address the reasons people are leaving Illinois,” his announcement continued. “We can start by cutting taxes, stop the spending and borrowing culture and reduce business regulation. We must be fiscal hawks and remember that we work for the people of Illinois.”

Phone and email messages seeking comment from Him were not returned. 

In next month's primary, Him will face challengers Jason Plummer of Edwardsville, George Barber of Greenville and Ben Stratemeyer of Centralia for the 54th Senate District.

There are no Democratic candidates running in the primary. Unless a candidate is slated by Democratic officials for the general election, the winner of the Republican primary next month will be unopposed in November.

According to his campaign website, Him was elected to the Clinton County Board in November 2014 after serving as a trustee in the Village of New Baden.

As a board member, he serves as chairman of the County Health & 708 Mental Health Board Area on Aging and Education Committee and is co-chair of the Law Enforcement, ESDA, Welfare, Safety, & Liquor Committee.

Born in Gainesville, Fla., Him joined the United States Air Force in April 1991 and was active duty for 22 years, including serving with host nation allies, receiving diplomatic clearance for military aircraft landing and over-flight clearance, and organizing numerous missions. His missions included presidential support missions, humanitarian, and war time operations including Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and over 150 combat and combat support sorties on the KC-135R.

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Clinton County State of Illinois General Assembly