Mel Thillens, a Park Ridge Republican who helps run the armored truck company that bears his name, plans to challenge Democratic state Rep. Marty Moylan for Illinois House next year.
Thillens announced his candidacy this week for a race that could be one of the most hotly contested statehouse seats in the suburbs. It's unclear whether he'll face an opponent in the March 18 primary election.
Thillens said he'll try to emphasize his business experience in the campaign. He's a vice president at the Thillens armored truck company, which helps shuttle money for banks.
"I need to make sure we don't fall into the same debt spiral as Detroit," Thillens said.
Moylan is serving in his freshman term in the Illinois House, where he won approval for a proposal stiffening penalties for school officials who don't report hazing. He said he'll point to that success as well as his time as Des Plaines mayor.
"We've been doing a wonderful job of getting our message out to the voters," Moylan said.
The candidates will compete in the 55th District, which includes parts of Des Plaines, Park Ridge and Mount Prospect.