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Staff Report
12:41 pm CDT November 1, 2018

In the 2018 General Election slated for Tuesday, Nov. 6, there are two candidates on the ballot for Congressional District 3 in Illinois: Democratic incumbent Daniel W. Lipinski and Republican challenger Arthur Jones. But there also are three eligible write-in candidates: Justin Hanson, of La Grange; Richard Mayers, of Chicago; and Kenneth Yerkes, of Oak Lawn; according to the Cook, Will and DuPage County Clerks' websites.

We posted a questionnaire with Rep. Lipinski here, but we also reached out to all three write-in candidates to afford them the opportunity to respond to our candidate questionnaires. Their responses are being posted here as they are received.

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Name: Justin Hanson

Age: 35

Town of Residence: La Grange

Occupation: Attorney practicing complex commercial litigation with Gould & Ratner. Former Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney, practicing complex civil rights litigation. Former policy analyst to Congressional leadership, U.S. House of Representatives.

 

Why are you running for election as U.S. Congressman in the 3rd District of Illinois?

It’s time our district had a new voice in Congress. I would represent us with energy, strength rooted in empathy — and informed judgment that serves people — not hyper-partisan agendas. I have what it takes to bring Congress back to the intersection of political courage and hard-fought compromise, to rediscover the statesmanship we are missing right now. Also, someone had to take a stand against Arthur Jones, an avowed Nazi and Republican candidate on the ballot.

What makes you the best candidate for this position?

In my career and personal life, I have had experiences that will serve me every day as a member of Congress. I learned hard work unloading train cars of brick throughout high school and college. I learned the importance of forming connections with our whole community while teaching civil rights in Chicago Public Schools as a volunteer. I have significant experience taking on intricate problems as a complex litigator, while engaging opposing counsel with respect. I learned empathy and justice as a prosecutor, representing police officers and listening to the life stories of men in prisons. Most importantly, being a parent has taught me that everything I do in Congress will impact the America that my children and yours will inherit together. This is my calling.

What are the Top 3 issues you see facing the district, and what would you do to solve them?

First, our district needs significant investment in our aging transit and infrastructure systems. We are a vital transportation hub, but our roads, rail and transit systems have been underfunded for far too long and are increasingly in disrepair. The Metropolitan Planning Council recently found that Illinois has at least $40 billion in deferred maintenance problems. If elected, I will meet with stakeholders who will be a part of the effort to restore these systems and will bring industry experts with me to inspect everything needing attention. I will advocate aggressively for Illinois’ funding needs to be a priority in the American transit landscape, and I will bring a hands-on approach to my representation of our district in order to strengthen the fight for the funding we need.

Second, our district needs more well-paying jobs and more work. According to the most recent Census Bureau data, district residents lost 3.6 percent in household income, making ours the worst performing district in Illinois, and ranking 422 of 435 districts nationwide. Our district also has one of the highest unemployment rates in Illinois. Yet, there are plenty of skilled people here ready to work. I will prioritize finally bringing much-needed transit funding back to the district, which will create many well-paying jobs for the workers and professionals who call our district home.

Third, residents of this district need our healthcare systems to be improved. Healthcare remains one of the leading causes of bankruptcy and is one area where partisanship has truly hurt Americans. Families here want preexisting conditions to remain covered and bipartisan improvements to the [Affordable Care Act]. I agree and will fight for better healthcare access and coverage.

I will approach every issue through a lens of fairness and not partisanship. Americans deserve a country where people and justice are central to our policies.

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Name: Kenneth Yerkes

Age: 62

Town of Residence: Oak Lawn

Occupation: Family dentist of 36 years, owner and practitioner at Oak Lawn Dental LLC. I also plan to teach in high school again, and I have a band, the YNUTS, that performs several times a year at local venues.

 

Why are you running for election as U.S. Congressman in the 3rd District of Illinois?

I’m running for U.S. Congress because it is a calling. I thought about serving in The House of Representatives back in 1988. However, raising and providing for my family, and being available for my wife and children, was and will always be the highest of my priorities. My loving children are now on own their own. It's time to step up and offer my talents to the citizens of the 3rd District in the U.S. Congress.

What makes you the best candidate for this position?

I am an outsider, a “Regular Joe” who values "people and principles over money and power."

Growing up, I was disciplined to listen and learn from my parents. I learned that you have to work and earn a living. I learned respect and to be respectful and be respected. I learned to value life, a gift from God. I learned to value relationships and love being part of a family. I will always advocate for innocent developing human life. I believe that I have the leadership skills and character to guide our district, and promise to listen to the needs of its citizens.

What are the Top 3 issues you see facing the district, and what would you do to solve them?

Underlying my Top 3 issues is my belief that we are a nation of laws, and our laws should be enforced. We are a nation built upon capitalism. Too much government regulation impedes innovation and economic growth. I believe in term limits — both at the State level (i.e. Madigan, 33-years) and on the national level (Lipinski 13-years).

1. I support President Trump’s leadership to enforce our borders and immigration laws.

Lawlessness and unlimited access to our borders creates an unsustainable burden on resources at every level, and in every district in the U.S., including the 3rd District.

America welcomes over 1 million legal immigrants each year who follow the law and go through the system, just like my grandmother and her mother. We need to reform immigration laws to include: a rational skill-based migration system, address family separation, end chain migration and the visa lottery system, and implement an E-Verify system. How do Immigrants feel who have followed our laws?

2.  Repeal and replace Obamacare

My 2017 Obamacare healthcare premium for my wife and I was $21,000. with a $13,000 deductible. That is not affordable or sustainable. The replacement plan has to include a provision to cover pre-existing conditions.

Obamacare had zero Republican votes. It did nothing to bring competition to the healthcare insurance market. It’s not unsustainable and can’t be fixed! It imposed a bad law that impacts every citizen and 20 percent of the U.S. economy. Obamacare must be replaced, because it is destroying the everyday budgets of America’s middle class.

3. I will prioritize Infrastructure Investment in the 3rd District

There’s a long list of needed infrastructure investment that’s way overdue. Here’s just two examples.

  • We need a railroad overpass or an underpass around 63rd and 65th Street, just east of Harlem. I have listened to several citizens’ complaints of trains stopped at the railroad crossing, forcing emergency vehicles to wait and go on a long detour.

  • Many complaints from Metra Train riders who can’t get to work on time! This has to be solved.