Former U-46 board member Ward seeks Oberweis' Senate seat

Former Elgin Area School District U-46 school board member Jeanette Ward has announced her bid for a state Senate run in the 25th District represented by dairy magnate and Republican Jim Oberweis.

Oberweis is not seeking re-election to the seat he's held since January 2013. Instead, he is pursuing the 14th Congressional District seat held by Naperville Democrat Lauren Underwood.

Ward, 46, a West Chicago Republican, said she is running "to protect life, liberty, sound fiscal policy and parental freedom."

She expects "Democrats will spend millions" in the race.

"I have only just begun fundraising," Ward said. She said how much she spends will depend on how much she can raise.

She doesn't have formal endorsements yet.

An unabashed supporter of President Donald Trump, Ward was ousted from the U-46 school board in April after serving one term.

Ward advocated for lowering taxes and cutting spending. She consistently voted against increased spending for more staffing and new programs, such as full-day kindergarten and expansion of the dual language curriculum.

As a Christian conservative voice on the school board, Ward fought the adoption of high school social studies textbooks that she believed promoted politically left-leaning biases, communist ideology, "global warming pseudoscience" and "anti-American bias." She also criticized the district administration's decision to allow a transgender middle school student access to the locker room and restroom corresponding with the student's gender identity.

"I exposed bias and radical indoctrination in student textbooks, now required by Illinois' new LGBT history law, with no opt out," Ward wrote in a Facebook post. "I want leaders who will protect our kindergartners, not cave in to political correctness."

She touted her support of increased school choice helping Elgin get its first charter school.

Ward said Illinois has the most radical abortion law in America, the highest overall tax burden, and a recently doubled gas tax sponsored by Democrats and complicit Republicans.

"We are notorious for corrupt politics," she wrote. "It's crippling us and causing people to leave our state. It doesn't have to be that way. It's important for leaders to stand on principles and also be flexible enough to work toward common goals."

Ward said she is using social media, email, events and radio to get her message to constituents.

The 25th District encompasses all or parts of Aurora, Bartlett, Batavia, Campton Hills, Elburn, Geneva, Montgomery, Naperville, North Aurora, Oswego, Plano, South Elgin, St. Charles, Sugar Grove, Warrenville, Wayne, West Chicago and Yorkville.

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