Jim Oberweis sees his victory in Tuesday's Republican primary as evidence voters agree with his criticism of the way things are currently done in Illinois.
"My message was we must make Illinois a more business-friendly state," he said. To encourage people to start and keep businesses in the state, he said, the income tax increase needs to be repealed; workers' compensation has to be changed; and the state's increasing costs for Medicaid and pension contributions need to be reined in.
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"It's not just about taxes. The whole attitude toward business has to change. We have to send the message that we want to start businesses here," Oberweis said.
He doesn't think his stance on term limits for leaders on the state Republican central committee will hurt him in his November bid, noting that the state party chairman voted in favor of the rules change Oberweis proposed. Oberweis, of Sugar Grove, would also like to see an eight-year term limits for members of the legislature. He has signed a pledge to step down after eight years, if elected. Doing so would free politicians to make better decisions, he believes, because they would not feel so beholden to campaign contributors.
Oberweis is the chairman of Oberweis Dairy and founder of Oberweis Securities.
He developed something of a reputation as a perennial candidate, but has never won a public office. In 2002, he lost in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat. He again lost in the primary in 2004 for a U.S. Senate seat. In 2006, he lost the primary for governor. In 2008, he lost the special and regular elections for the 14th Congressional District seat.
Oberweis had praise for his two opponents in Tuesday's primary, Dave Richmond of Batavia and Richard Slocum of Sugar Grove.
"I think I had two really good opponents. Both are friends of mine," he said.
Richmond and Slocum agreed with Oberweis on term limits and the need to repeal the income tax increase. One of the differences between Richmond and Oberweis was that Richmond has experience as an elected official; he is the Blackberry Township supervisor.
Oberweis will face Democrat Corinne Pierog in the fall.
Pierog, of St. Charles, defeated Steven L. Hunter of Geneva. She received nearly two-thirds of the vote. Pierog is a St. Charles school trustee; her term expires in 2013. She teaches college courses and has her own management consulting business.