Batavia resident, teacher hopes to challenge Hultgren
As a high school teacher and a Navy veteran, Batavia resident Victor Swanson says he doesn't feel adequately represented by members of Congress.
Hoping to be a voice for the middle class, Swanson said Sunday he is running for the 14th Congressional District seat in 2018, making him the first Democrat to launch a campaign against Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren.
"The House of Representatives is supposed to be the closest to the people. It's supposed to be representative of our society. It's just not," Swanson said. "I took a leap of faith, and I'm going to do my best."
Swanson, who grew up in Yorkville, served in the U.S. Navy before attending Illinois State University to study secondary education. He has since earned a master's degree from Northern Illinois University and teaches social studies at Glenbard East High School in Lombard.
His wife, Karen, is also a public school teacher, and his children, Ellie and Carter, attend Batavia public schools.
Swanson said public education is at the top of his list of priorities if elected. In addition to focusing on improving public schools, he would push for lowering college costs and providing universal access to preschool.
He also wants to strengthen and protect Medicare, Social Security and the environment, he said, pointing to one of his biggest concerns: "How are we going to leave this earth and this country for our future generations?"
A first-time candidate for any political office, Swanson said he expects his biggest challenge to be making his name and political stance known to the constituents of the 14th District, which covers parts of Kane, DuPage, McHenry, Lake, DeKalb, Kendall and Will counties.
"There are a lot of people that are ready and energized about making changes in our government," he said. "We need to harness that energy."
Swanson is planning to formally announce his campaign Monday.