Three newcomers seek GOP nomination for state Senate District 49

The three people seeking the Republican nomination for the 49th state Senate District are first-time candidates, running because they don't like how the state is being run by Democrats.

"Our state is in dire straits," said Stacey Keagle, 48, of Plainfield, during an interview with the Daily Herald.

"I could not just sit by and watch our state self-destruct," said James Lawson, 42, of Plainfield.

Felicity Joy Solomon said she is tired of state legislators doing "whatever they wanted to do." She belongs to a group called the Kingdom Conservative Party, which requires its candidates to sign a pledge to follow the group's platform, she said. Solomon lives in Shorewood.

Solomon is self-employed as a life coach. She is also the pastor of a Christian house church.

Lawson is a Plainfield Township Republican committeeman. He is a union electrician with Local 701 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Keagle is a licensed practical nurse working by contract.

The issues

"We really are on the same page on a lot of issues," Lawson said.

He said his top priority would be to reinstall confidence in the electoral system.

"I cannot guarantee our elections are up to par," he said. Lawson said the state should start from scratch by clearing the voter rolls and having everybody re-register. He also wants people to have to show their voter cards to vote.

Solomon, who is Black, favors a return to paper ballots. She, too, supports making voters show identification. It is "incredibly racist" to say that will disenfranchise people of color, Solomon said.

Keagle said the 2021 SAFE-T Act criminal-justice reform bill is the top priority for her. "I want to reverse (it) - give these powers back to our police," she said. The General Assembly "is waging war against our police officers. It is a very short time before we have no police officers."

Solomon said she favors increasing spending for police, saying calls for defunding the police are a "poisonous fad."

Her priority, though, would be to cut pay for state legislators. She said she would give 20% of her pay to charity.

The 49th state Senate District covers part of southern Naperville and southeastern Aurora. But it primarily serves all or portions of Bolingbrook, Plainfield, Romeoville, Channahon, Joliet and Shorewood.

The winner of the June 28 primary will face Democratic incumbent Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel of Joliet in the general election in November.

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