LEBANON – Confirming our Tuesday reports of a possible Congressional run, state Sen. Kyle McCarter (R- Lebanon) announced Wednesday that he will seek to unseat 10-term GOP incumbent John Shimkus.
“20 years is a long time, and we all know Washington is broken. I believe our Representative [Shimkus] has become part of the problem,” McCarter said of his reasons to run for Congress.
According to McCarter, working in D.C. changes people, and that they drift and evolve into something different than what represents their constituency. He notes that term limits could prevent that change, and that at one time Shimkus was also a supporter of term limits.
“That was his first promise, and he broke that promise,” he said, referring to Shimkus’ vow when he first ran for office to only serve six terms in Congress. He later called the promise a mistake, and is now seeking reelection to his 11th term in office.
McCarter, a sponsor of term limit legislation in Springfield, says 8-10 years in Congress is enought and that he will hold himself to a term limit promise, vowing that if he’s not elected to Congress he will not seek another term in the Illinois State Senate, leaving when his current term expires in 2018.
The Lebanon Republican also confirms rumors that Shimkus staffers have tried to dissuade him from challenging their boss. McCarter says Shimkus people have bullied anyone connected to him, telling them they will never work in Illinois, and promising them they will find them a job if they convince McCarter to give up the race.
McCarter avoided comment, however, when asked if the same rumors about Gov. Bruce Rauner’s people. He instead said he is100-percent on board with Rauner’s agenda, and wants take that same “turnaround agenda” to Washington.
“There are a lot of very upset people in this district,” said McCarter. “They haven’t had a choice on their ballots, and they’ve had a representative ruled by special interests who donate big money to his campaign.”
Shimkus’ large campaign coffers have previously been impossible for challengers to duplicate, leaving opponents painfully outspent.
McCarter says while he may not bring in the millions-of-dollars Shimkus will, he will have the freedom to be more blunt than Shimkus, rather than have to maneuver his positions to align himself with the special interest groups donating money.