After nearly 10 years on the McHenry County Board, Barbara Wheeler announced her decision to run for the new state 64th District House seat Sunday night in hopes of bringing tight fiscal policies to the state level.
"When people ask me for help on county issues, I can help them and be a resource, but lately I've been bombarded with questions, and I feel like my answers have all been excuses. You have to go to the state level," Wheeler said. "I just feel like I was always passing the buck to the legislators."
Wheeler, who is running as a Republican, said she decided she would not run again for the McHenry Board a while back, but when the new district lines were finalized she knew the time was right to seek the seat.
"When I looked at the map, I already represent a third of it (D64)," she said. "I taught in Wauconda. I lived in Fox Lake. I know the area very well."
Wheeler, whose brother Al Salvi was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1992, plans to run on a platform of conservative fiscal policy learned through her years on the McHenry County Board.
"In the '90s, McHenry County didn't have a strong financial position. We now have a five month-plus reserve," she said. "In our time from 2002 to now, we improved our Moody's rating twice."
Wheeler expects the primary field for the new seat to be wide-open and is predicting a large number of opponents.
The former Peace Corps Volunteer hopes to join her cousin, Democratic State Representative Ann Williams, in Springfield.
"I've come from a politically driven family. I've known I would always end up in the General Assembly," Wheeler said. "I talked to my brother about it. My whole family, most importantly my husband, are in favor of this and are encouraging it."