ROCKFORD — A supporter of pro-life, term limits, the Second Amendment and someone who vows to support the men and women in blue “unconditionally” wants to represent the area in Springfield.

Eli Nicolosi kicked off his campaign Monday to run for the Illinois Senate’s 35th district seat.

Speaking before a crowd of about 40 people at Midway Village and Museum, Nicolosi said, “I’m running because I think my voice can make a difference, and we need new leadership.”

Nicolosi is challenging incumbent state Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Cherry Valley.

The two will face off in the state’s primary election on June 28. The general election will be held Nov. 8, 2022.

Nicolosi, 42, of Loves Park, is owner of graphic design company Astute Web Group and a husband and father of four. He served on the Winnebago County Board from 2014 to 2018.

He described his defeat in 2018 to fellow Republican John Butitta as a learning experience.

“I won’t lie,” he said, “it stung like hell to get knocked down like that. It humbled me more than anything in my life up to that point.”

Nicolosi re-emerged on the political scene in 2020 when he became Winnebago County Republican Party chairman, a position that allowed him to interact with residents and and other Republicans throughout the county and region.

He also gained the respect and support of his one-time political foe.

“He has a commitment to economic development,” said Butitta, who attended the event with fellow board member Jean Crosby.

“He was on the economic development committee when he was on the County Board, so he understands it. And the state of Illinois really hasn’t done much for us in that area outside of the casino.”

The Illinois Senate’s 35th District includes sections of Winnebago, Boone, DeKalb, Kane and McHenry counties.

“After redistricting, a new map is now in effect and career politicians have been on pins and needles about how it is going to affect their district,” Nicolosi said. “Well, I’m here to tell you the 35th District should never be anyone’s district at all. It’s the people’s district.

“That’s why I believe in term limits. … real honest to God term limits that are law, not just recommendations that you can ignore in time.”

A one-year term in the Illinois Senate is six years. After his speech, Nicolosi said two terms in the Senate is needed to accomplish goals, but he also said, “Anything more than 10 years, you are pushing it. And what I can tell you is 30 years is too long.”

Syverson, 64, was elected to the Senate in 1993 representing the 34th District until 2013. He has since represented the 35th District. Without mentioning Syverson’s name, Nicolosi took several swipes at the long-serving legislator.

After criticizing lawmakers who become lobbyists, sit on corporate boards or work for interest groups who donated to their campaigns, Nicolosi said, “There are also far too many legislators today who sit on boards of corporations, other industries and even hospitals.”

Syverson is a Mercyhealth board member.

Shortly before Nicolosi kicked off his event, Syverson issued a statement:

“This is the people’s seat. Anyone can run for it. I’m very proud of all that we have accomplished working together for our community and for all the constituents we have and are serving. If the voters so choose, I would be honored to continue to represent them.”

Nicolosi concluded the evening stating he will hold fast to traditional conservative values such as opposing abortion and raising taxes.

“Check my record on the County Board. Never have, never will.”

He also said, “I believe in the Second Amendment. I’ll oppose any new government regulations, and I’ll support our police unconditionally.”

The formula to winning, Nicolosi said, is “simple.”

“Listen to the people. Learn the issues. And let the voters guide you to the right decision.”

Chris Green: [email protected]@chrisfgreen

Original article posted here:
https://www.rrstar.com/story/news/2021/07/12/illinois-politics-republican-sen-syverson-challenged-by-party-member/7925625002/