Schaumburg Township Assessor John Lawson announced his candidacy for state representative in the 56th District Saturday to a crowd of about 100 supporters and top GOP officials.
The announcement served as a Republican pep rally with Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross, State Rep. David Harris and State Sen. John Millner delivering a message that the conservative movement in Illinois has a tidal wave of energy heading into the 2012 elections.
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Cross said he's not a fan of the recent redistricting or the Democrat-favored maps that resulted. But even the new 56th District is winnable, Cross said, given the six seats Republicans gained in the last election.
"We didn't get quite where we want to with that (56th District) House race," Cross said. "But what came out of that is a stronger organization, a better organization."
The statement referenced Ryan Higgins losing the seat by about 600 votes to Democrat Michelle Mussman in the last contest. Higgins was subsequently appointed as chairman of the Schaumburg Township Republican Organization. Higgins engineered the event on Saturday to launch Lawson's candidacy.
Lawson is a 27-year veteran of the Roselle Police force. He's been assessor since 2004. Lawson cited Millner and State Sen. Carole Pankau as his political idols in making the announcement. Lawson said he's running because he's "not impressed" by the job Mussman has done. Specifically, Lawson said he'll bring a conservative approach to budgeting that Mussman doesn't grasp.
"She's a very nice person, but she's out of her element," Lawson said. "She's lacking knowledge and leadership."