Didech, newcomers in 54th, 55th districts announce 2022 candidacies

Democratic state Rep. Daniel Didech of Buffalo Grove and a pair of political newcomers have announced their candidacies for seats representing the Northwest suburbs in the Illinois House in 2022.

Didech will be running for a third term representing the 59th District, Michele Hunter of Arlington Heights is seeking the Republican nomination for the 54th District and Michael Robert Walters of Park Ridge the Republican nomination for the 55th District.

In his announcement, Didech counted himself among the reform-minded lawmakers who demanded new House leadership last year and claimed success in working for goals that were tangible to the residents of his district.

"I am most proud of my work ensuring that every single person in my district has a real voice in Springfield," Didech said in a statement. "Last year alone I worked with the Vernon Hills village board to honor our veterans, with residents in Mundelein to eliminate racist restrictive covenants, and with the village of Buffalo Grove to end the pointless impasse that prevented a cannabis dispensary from operating in our town. I truly enjoy being in a position where I can help make government work the way it's supposed to."

The 59th District includes portions of Buffalo Grove, Vernon Hills, Mundelein, Wheeling, Lincolnshire, Park City, Green Oaks, Libertyville, Prairie View, Mettawa, Indian Creek and unincorporated Lake County near Deerfield.

Hunter is an attorney and a published author in her field who has clerked for the 2nd Appellate Court District and worked for a marketing firm in Chicago.

With current Republican state Rep. Tom Morrison's announcement he will not run again after his Palatine neighborhood was redistricted out of the 54th District, Hunter is the only declared candidate in the Republican primary. Arlington Heights Trustee Mary Beth Canty is seeking the Democratic nomination.

The new 54th District will include a large portion of Arlington Heights as well as parts of Palatine and Prospect Heights.

"My training and my advocacy have led me to run for state representative," Hunter said in her announcement. "The one-party control of Illinois' government has led to legislation that is not in the interest of the people of Illinois and especially the 54th District."

"In the last decade, our population has decreased compared to other states and the legislature needs to address the issues that have caused this migration. Tax increases, high crime, and a draconian response to the pandemic have motivated people and businesses to leave our state."

Walters is seeking the Republican nomination in the 55th District currently represented by Democrat Marty Moylan of Des Plaines.

Walters said his run for the state House is being driven by his beliefs in equality under the law, bodily autonomy, American exceptionalism, free-market capitalism. limited government, voter registration and election integrity, and consumer protection. However, he said he also believes in phasing out taxation on active and passive income, capital gains, property, real estate transfers and inheritances.

Having been diagnosed with a psychiatric disability 14 years ago, Walters said he is committed to raising awareness of psychiatric illness, addiction and suicide prevention, as well as including Americans with disabilities in higher education and the workforce.

The redrawn 55th District includes parts of Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Chicago and Niles.

Michele Hunter
Michael Robert Walters
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