At least one Democrat wants to challenge Grant in House Dist. 42

At least one Democrat is hoping to unseat first-term Republican state Rep. Amy Grant in Illinois House District 42.

Lisle Democrat Ken Mejia-Beal has announced his bid to challenge Grant, who represents the district that includes all or parts of Wheaton, Winfield, Carol Stream, Warrenville, Lisle, West Chicago and Naperville.

"I am running as someone who will represent the entire district," said Mejia-Beal, who made his campaign announcement 15 months before the 2020 general election.

The 34-year-old said he decided to enter the race after meeting with various groups, including small business owners, veterans and senior citizens.

Candidates are going to start circulating petitions next month. DuPage Democratic leaders say at least one more member of their party is expected to run, but attempts to speak to her were unsuccessful.

Meanwhile, Grant is seeking re-election. The former DuPage County Board member began serving in the House in January.

Grant, who lives in Wheaton, said in a statement that it's been a "privilege to represent the residents of this area."

"Spiraling taxes, specifically property taxes, are a large and growing concern in our district," she said. "I've voted against all of the new taxes proposed."

Grant said she's also sponsored legislation on human trafficking, speech therapy for home care, and a "deep dive audit" to account for where taxpayer money is being spent.

"I'm deeply concerned about mental health issues and services, even going back to my time on the county board," she said.

While he's seeking public office for the first time, Mejia-Beal says he's worked behind the scenes on campaigns for years.

"I have been a community organizer on campaigns," he said. "I have been a strategist for campaigns. So I've been around."

If elected, Mejia-Beal said he would work on the social causes while also being fiscally responsible.

Mejia-Beal, who works in finance, says health care was one of several issues that inspired him to run.

"We tend to focus on medicine and making medicine affordable," he said. "I want to focus on root causes. Why are we so chronically ill?"

He said he will explore what can be done at the state level to reduce chronic illness.

Ken Mejia-Beal
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