John Elleson: Candidate profile

  • John Elleson is a candidate for U.S. Representative 9th District (Republican primary, 2-year term).

    John Elleson is a candidate for U.S. Representative 9th District (Republican primary, 2-year term).

Posted10/12/2018 1:00 AM


Name: John Elleson


City: Arlington Heights


Twitter: @johnelleson

Facebook: John Elleson for U.S. Congress @JohnNotJan

Office sought: U.S. House, District 9

Party: Republican

Age: 56

Family: My wife Sue, 7 kids (Christa, Benjamin, Shawna, Nathan, Sara, John David, Amanda)

Occupation: Pastor

Education: Pastoral Theology Degree from Christian Life College, Mt. Prospect and supplement courses from Trinity University, Deerfield.

Civic involvement: I've been working in Chicagoland for over 35 years helping people.

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Elected offices: None

Questions & Answers

Did you support or oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017? Why or why not? Please outline your basic view of what our economic policy should be?

Yes, I supported the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. I believe our companies and corporations need to be competitive with other countries and be on a level playing field. I believe in the America First agenda the administration is pursuing. We need to put our workers first and start making more things in the USA again, especially steel. Too many blue collar jobs have left our country and much of our manufacturing base has been decimated.

From common sense regulation to creating an environment where companies want to manufacture in the US, we need to keep taking the necessary actions that encourages economic growth. I'm for good high paying jobs (with benefits), for those who want to work for the American dream. Let's leave the next generation a country economically strong, and not a yesterday America.

How strong is the threat of so-called cyberwarfare? What should the U.S. be doing in response to that threat that we are not doing?

I think it's a real issue that we need to take seriously. If a foreign power or even someone within our country, could shut down or disrupt the electrical power grid (because it's all linked by computers online), or our banking system through the internet, we have real problems. We need to protect our public utilities and cyber infrastructure from attack and make it a national priority.

The same goes for our satellite and internet telecommunication systems. We cannot allow foreign or national enemies to bring down our satellite communications systems and internet. I'm sure it going to be costly, but we need to protect these assets.


I think the whole electrical grid needs to be upgraded through the latest technology and modern infrastructure. No expense should be spared on this, as one nefarious incident could cripple or devastate our economy, like 9/11 did.

Please outline your position on immigration. What should our philosophy be on the issue? Should there be a wall along most of our southern border? What should our philosophy be on how we treat and respond to undocumented immigrants?

As a nation we need to decide what we want our immigration laws to look like, then enforce them. Everyone should know what the rules are, then work within them.

I'm for a lenient immigration policy, I just think there needs to be certainty. Everyone needs to live by the same immigration laws and rules. Right now they are broken.

Yes, I'm somewhat for the wall because it creates more certainty. I admit I don't like a barrier like this, but nothing seems to change and we are always dealing with the same issue. Sometimes I think we really don't want to solve the problem. Maybe big business and some democrats have their own reasons for not wanting the issue dealt with.

We should be kind and nice to undocumented immigrants. The church I pastor has many undocumented immigrants in it. I help them in every way I can. As the congressional representative for the 9th District, I would do the same. But I also believe in following our national immigration laws. Our country needs secure borders and people should not cross the border illegally, nor should they overstay their visa once they've entered the country.

What is your evaluation of President Trump's job performance? Please specify what you view as its highs and lows.

I think he's done a good job. It's not easy governing a divided country, but I agree in the course his administration is pursuing.

Sure he's made some mistakes, but he's done a good job overall. I believe he has our country's best interests at heart and wants the country to do well and prosper.

How important is Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation? What's your assessment of its fairness and professionalism? What's your assessment of Rep. Devin Nunes' performance chairing the House Intelligence Committee's review of the matter?

I've soured on the Mueller investigation. It probably never should have started in the first place. Attorney General Sessions probably should have never recused himself. From what I could see, these things further divide the country and keep the nation from unifying, while hampering the administration's focus on the nations issues.

If it wasn't for Representative Nunes and the rest, we may have never found out about some of the things that went on. We learned through discovered text messages and the like, that there was a political side to this investigation and some within the FBI and Justice Department may have had it in for President Trump.

Did you support Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court? Please explain.

Yes, I do. They say he's an originalist and not one who adheres to an evolving constitution. Educationally he is strong and seems to have a good world view. The current Supreme Court has used many of his legal opinions and he has a long track record on the DC court of appeals. From what I could see, we probably couldn't have done much better.

Please provide one example that demonstrates your independence from your party.

I'm not a regular Republican (nor do I care to be). I am probably more of an independent conservative (but the older I'm getting, I seem to not like labels or titles).

After I won the Republican primary on March 20th, the leaders of the Republican Party in the 9th Congressional District asked to meet with me to see who I was and what I was about, as I was someone they only heard of, and not part of their makeup.

There were 4 of us who competed in the Republican primary (which I won by 10 points), and the one who never ran after, nor received any party endorsement, primarily because I advocated for working with and going after those on the other side (democrats and independents). I pastor a church being a 1/3 Black, 1/3 Spanish, and 1/3 White. Probably 70 percent of the people being democrat (like the district). With that, as one who enjoys diversity and sees it as strength, we love the other and find more in common that we do apart. I believe in diversity and challenging opinion and respect those of differing view. We may be diverse, but we have much more in common.

What other issues are important to you as a candidate for this office?

1) National Unity: I enjoy building bridges and the challenge of getting along with the other side. If elected to Congress as the 9th District US Representative, I would strive to be a representative of all the people. We would be a standout District in our country that people look to for how to get along. I would be a friend to all Congress men and women, as we would be seen in the country as a model District. We are living in a divided and dangerous time, and our country needs someone like me building bridges with the other side.

2) The Economy: we need a strong economy that puts America and its people first.

3. Trade: our countries trade policy needs to be fair. Probably a no tariff policy is the way to go.

4. National Security: we need a strong national defense that addresses modern threats.

5. Healthcare: we need to keep working on getting health care cost down, while promoting innovation and quality health care to all the people. Deductibles need to come down and health care cost needs to be more affordable.

6. National Debt: We need to reign in spending, balance the budget, and pay off the national debt.

7. Social Security: We need to shore up this fund, so it is viable for the generations to come. This is an important contract we need to keep and honor with the older generation.

In addition, we have a few questions meant to provide more personal insight into you as a candidate:

What makes Chicago's suburbs special?

The Chicagoland is a great place to live. Many have talked about Illinois' problems and that it's not a good place to live. Ok, we've all said it before. Taxes are high, the winters are long, the politicians have been crooked, etc. With all the faults though, we are still a great place to live. We have diversity, culture, history, great food, some of the hardest working, innovative people, and a region that conveniently connects to the world. We are still a strong Midwestern region, that offers a good quality of life. The suburbs are a collar around a historic city. It's not too late to shine this place up or turn the place around. Running for Congress has only made me love this great place all the more.

Who is your hero?

I look up to people who have overcome challenges. Whether handicapped, addicted, health, personal, financial, etc., my heroes are those who "keep fighting life through".

Each amendment in the Bill of Rights is important, but which one of those 10 is most precious to you?

Number 1: Freedom of Religion, Speech and the Press. We need to cherish and be thankful for these precious freedoms we regularly enjoy.

What's something you know now that you wish you'd known when you were younger?

Don't be scared when you run into trouble or hard times. Keep fighting and living with confidence, as things tend to work out. Life is short, make the most of it.

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the world, what would it be?

That people would fear God and want to honor him. That we would get along with the other, that we would have physical healing with less pain and suffering.

What's the best piece of advice you ever received?

Strive to be honest and noble. To understand who you are in secret, defines who you are in public. Being a person of transparency ultimately wins out. Walking in humility and forgiveness has benefits. You can be happy with very little materially, if you make the right choices.

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