Arlington Heights attorney challenging Walker for 53rd District House seat

  • Jack Vrett

    Jack Vrett

  • Mark Walker

    Mark Walker

Updated 2/8/2022 4:43 PM

Arlington Heights veteran and attorney Jack Vrett declared Tuesday as a Republican candidate to challenge Democratic state Rep. Mark Walker in the 53rd House District.

"Illinois is on the wrong track, and I am running for state representative to restore sensible policies and push back against the extreme agenda that has led to rising crime, closed schools and higher taxes," Vrett said in an announcement launching his campaign. "I support a balanced, common-sense approach that builds on core values we all share, whether it is fighting on behalf of victims and the police, parents and students, or the middle- and working-class families who have been left behind."


Vrett, a labor and employment law attorney at Honigman LLP since 2019, entered private practice in 2017 at the Arlington Heights-based law firm Hodges Loizzi. He previously was deputy general counsel for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services.

After graduating from law school in 2009, Vrett served as a judge advocate general in the Army, including nearly four years with the 101st Airborne Division. In December 2010, he deployed as a captain to eastern Afghanistan, where he advised commanders on the use of force, rules of engagement and law of war, according to his online biography.

Vrett later was a special assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting crimes committed by civilians in and around Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He left the Army in 2014 and became a civilian attorney with the Department of Defense.

A native of Woodstock, Vrett and his wife, Rose Marie, are active members of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Chicago, where they met, and serve on its parish council.

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Vrett's announcement comes nearly a month after Walker announced his reelection campaign, in which the veteran Arlington Heights lawmaker cited state credit upgrades, balanced budgets and efforts fighting climate change.

Walker, the Wheeling Township Democratic committeeman, returned to the legislature in 2019 after a previous stint from 2009 to 2011.

The newly redrawn 53rd District now contains roughly half of Arlington Heights, most of Mount Prospect and Rolling Meadows, and some precincts in Des Plaines, Palatine and Schaumburg.

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