Congressional candidate calls committee investigating Capitol attack a 'waste' of time

During an online forum Thursday night, all five Republican candidates for Illinois' 14th Congressional District seat criticized the U.S. House committee investigating last year's deadly assault of the U.S. Capitol.

One, Mike Koolidge, said there are much more pressing issues in the nation than determining exactly what happened on Jan. 6, 2021.

"We waste a lot of time talking about something from so long ago," said Koolidge, of Rochelle. "We need to move on."

The others criticized the committee for not having an equal number of Democrats and Republicans or for how the two Republican members - Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming - were chosen.

"It's a sham and a fraud," said candidate James Marter of Oswego.

The other Republican candidates in the 14th are Scott Gryder of Oswego, Jack Lombardi of Manhattan and Jaime Milton of Fox River Grove. The winner of the June 28 GOP primary will face two-term Democratic incumbent Lauren Underwood of Naperville.

The nearly 90-minute forum was hosted by League of Women Voters groups serving Naperville, the Aurora area and DeKalb and moderated by league member Jan Dorner.

In addition to the Capitol siege, Dorner asked the candidates about voting rights, abortion, climate change and other topics.

They all opposed abortion and called for stricter rules and procedures to secure voting. But they stood apart when it came to describing what they consider the most critical national security threats.

Lombardi and Gryder cited cybercrime among their top targets, while Milton said irresponsible spending in Washington is the most critical security danger. Milton also cited the southern border with Mexico as being a critical national security threat; Koolidge cited that as his top security worry.

On the other hand, Marter called President Joe Biden the greatest threat to American security, criticizing his policies on the southern border, the war in Ukraine and other issues.

A video recording of the forum will be published at

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

Early voting for the primary started Thursday. The general election is Nov. 8.

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