Seth Lewis: Candidate profile
Bio: Seth Lewis
Office sought: Illinois Senate, District 23.
Family: Married to Dr. Bhavna Sharma-Lewis for 20 years, 2 Sons - Max and Clark.
Occupation: State Farm Insurance Agent.
Education: BS Industrial Engineering, University of Iowa 1991.
Civic involvement: President of Bartlett Little League, Treasurer of Bartlett Little League, Treasurer of Bartlett Raiders Youth Football, Youth sports coach for 8 years - multiple sports, Bartlett HS Activity Complex Committee.
Elected offices: Bartlett Fire Protection District Trustee.
Questions & Answers
Would you vote to approve a graduated income tax? If so, what qualifiers would you impose and where would you set the brackets? What would the top tax rate be?
Absolutely not, a graduated income tax will hurt every person in the state. Based on plans that have already been suggested in Illinois, nearly all families will have their taxes increased under this plan. Job creators will look to moving out of state with less taxes, and individuals who stay in the state will be less motivated to seek higher paying jobs, because they will only be taxed more if they do so.
How big a problem is the level of property taxation in Illinois? If you view it as a problem, what should be done about it?
Property taxation in Illinois has historically been fair, however it appears that democrats seek to increase property taxes in Illinois. This will be disastrous for the state. Illinois is already dealing with population loss from increasing taxes, poor job growth, and ineffective government. Illinois should be doing everything it can to keep residents from fleeing the state. Lowering property taxes should be the immediate goal of Illinois legislators.
What is your evaluation of Gov. Rauner's job performance? Please specify what you view as its highs and lows.
Governor Rauner has ultimately been beneficial to Illinois, although he has not been able to get all of his agenda passed, he has worked and will continue working to improve Illinois. Rauner has been blocked by the Madigan machine, and without more support form republicans in the state, then passing his agenda may not be possible.
What is your evaluation of Senate President John Cullerton's job performance? If you voted for him for president in the last legislative session, please explain your vote.
John Cullerton has been a hindrance to the change that is needed within Illinois to make the state the shining gem in the Midwest that it should be. Professional politicians like John Cullerton and Mike Madigan seek only to increase their power and their pocketbooks. Creating term limits for politicians within Illinois would prevent politicians like John Cullerton and Mike Madigan from further harming Illinois in the future.
Should there be term limits for legislative leaders? If so, what would you do to make that happen? What other systemic changes should be made to strengthen the voice of individual legislators, limit the control of legislative leaders, encourage bipartisanship?
I believe that there should not only be term limits for legislative leaders, but for all legislative officials. This would make it so that officials are not focused solely on seeking reelection, but so that they are solely focused on representing the people in their districts.
How concerned should we be about Illinois' population loss? What needs to be done to reverse the trend?
We should be extremely concerned about Illinois' population loss, seemingly everyday there are more and more people leaving or actively seeking to leave Illinois. Between government corruption, the seemingly stagnant job market, and the tax burden placed on citizens, Illinois has become unfriendly to its own residents. By decreasing taxes across the board more business will be encouraged to move to Illinois, creating more jobs, and investment opportunities, which intern will give residents more incentive to stay in Illinois as well as provide out of state residents incentives to move to Illinois. Illinois has many opportunities for business and should be thriving from them.
Please provide one example that demonstrates your independence from your party.
I am more than willing to work on bipartisan legislation that I feel would benefit the state. I am running as a republican, but that does not mean that I have to disagree with all legislation proposed by democrats. If elected, I will look at each legislation neutrally and determine whether it will benefit Illinois, its citizens, and the residents of my district, and make my determination based on those criteria.
What other issues are important to you as a candidate for this office?
As a candidate I have seen first hand at how unfair the redistricting process can be in Illinois. Partisan legislators draw maps to benefit their party. If elected I will support legislation that will requiring that an independent bipartisan commission be tasked with redistricting. Having politicians involved with the redistricting process inherently removes the ability for areas to choose their own government officials without undue influence.
In addition, here a few questions meant to provide more personal insight into you as a person:
What's the hardest decision you ever had to make?
One of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make was whether I should run for political office or not. The decision was extremely difficult for me to make, but it also was difficult for my family. At the end of the day my family and I decided that I could do a lot of good for the state by running for office.
Who is your hero?
Each amendment in the Bill of Rights is important, but which one of those 10 is most precious to you?
The first amendment is by far the most important amendment to upholding the freedoms that citizens of America enjoy.
What lesson of youth has been most important to you as an adult?
Work hard with integrity
Think back to a time you failed at something. What did you learn from it?
When you fall down you need to dust yourself off, get back up, and try again.