One GOP candidate in 14th District supports federal abortion ban; three say states should decide

Three Republicans running for Illinois' 14th Congressional District seat said they believe states should decide whether to ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the historic Roe v. Wade decision.

A fourth, however, favors a federal ban.

Candidates Jack Lombardi of Manhattan, James Marter of Oswego and Jaime Milton of Fox River Grove participated in a group online interview with the Daily Herald and Shaw Media on Tuesday. Another candidate, Scott Gryder of Oswego, was interviewed separately, while Michael Koolidge of Rochelle backed out of a commitment to participate.

Whoever wins the June 28 GOP primary will face Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood of Naperville in the Nov. 8 general election.

All four contenders who were interviewed Tuesday opposed the 1973 Roe decision, which effectively legalized abortion across the U.S.

Milton, a first-time candidate who opposes abortion without exception, called the Roe ruling "government overreach."

"This is a state issue," she said. "It should have never been mandated at the federal level."

Lombardi, another a first-time candidate, also said abortion laws should be set state by state. He said he opposes abortion except when the life of the mother is in danger.

Marter, who has run for Congress twice before and for U.S. Senate once, said he favors a federal abortion ban. He opposes abortion without exception.

Gryder, the Kendall County Board chair, said he opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest and danger to the life of the mother. He said abortion laws should be made at the state level, but he'd support a federal abortion ban if proposed.

Climate change was among the other topics covered Tuesday.

As he has previously, Marter disputed humanity has played a role in global climate change. "I don't see the science behind the so-called claims of man-made influence," he said.

He did, however, acknowledge mankind can influence local environments and said people should take responsibility for keeping water and air clean.

Milton called climate change "a marketing buzzword" but noted corporations have caused water and air pollution. Milton said she supports developing policies that would prioritize the climate over corporate interests.

Lombardi noted mankind has polluted local environments and the oceans. "But climate change? I'm not a scientist," he said.

Gryder called warnings about humanity's impact on climate change "a little bit overblown." He doubted the industrial revolution has had an effect on global climate and disagreed with some scientists' and activists' dire predictions about climate if human behavior doesn't change.

Redrawn for the 2022 election, the 14th District encompasses parts of Kane, Will, DeKalb, Kendall, LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam counties.

Early voting starts May 19.

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