EDWARDSVILLE – One thing for certain this election season for Republicans seeking state office: invoke the name "Madigan" to stir up support among the base.
In the final days of a campaign for the 112th House District, Republican candidates who would like to replace Democrat Katie Stuart in the fall, have traded shots over who would do a better job standing up to the Madigan-Stuart "machine."
"I have been one of the most outspoken critics of Mike Madigan and his corrupt machine," said Dwight Kay of Glen Carbon. Kay had been elected to two terms as representative of the 112th District, but was defeated by Stuart in 2016.
In response to negative campaign attacks against him, Kay said in a recent release that he has "and always will" support term limits, and that he has opposed pay raises for lawmakers "and will take a voluntary 10 percent pay cut."
"The reason it's important to get the truth out is because we need people of integrity representing us to fight the corruption in Springfield," he said in a release. "Our families pay the price for that corruption with the highest property taxes in the nation, ever-increasing income taxes and billions in unpaid bills.
"All the corruption in Illinois has an impact on our families and that's why I am running for state representative. Don't listen to the Chicago politicians."
Erhart, of Maryville, says that she will take on the Stuart-Madigan machine.
"I'm a businesswoman, community leader, and mom - not a politician. She describes herself as a conservative committed to cutting spending and repealing the recent tax hike.
She too claims to be for term limits, while taking a shot at Kay, "unlike politicians who stay too long."
"We need new ideas, new approaches."
According to the State Board or Elections site, since the beginning of the year Erhart has received financial support from the House Republican Organization - $50,000 last month, while Kay has received approximately $32,000 campaign contributions from about 15 business owners, the Illinois Chamber and the Illinois Opportunity Project.
Kay indicated in a press release that his campaign committee would host an election night party on Tuesday from 7 to 10 p.m. at The Studio next to Wooden Nickel in Glen Carbon.