GOP House candidate sets sights on re-establishing state’s rep
Benton business owner David Severin, the GOP candidate for the 117th District State House seat, says the proverbial kicking-the-can-down-the-road political mentality has to end if Illinois is to regain a reputable status.
“I was raised in a family where we were taught if you earn a dollar, then you spend a dollar," Severin told the Southwest Illinois News. "In Illinois, if we bring in a dollar and we’re spending $1,900 and think someone else is going to bail us (out) some day — well, there is no bailout for the state of Illinois."
While there are no easy answers to the fiscal predicament currently facing the state, Severin doesn’t think politicians are answering any of the related questions about solving some of the issues, such as the state’s current tax structure and budget impasse.
These issues, he said, have put the state at a critical juncture in which the lack of a state budget has created delinquent bills and subsequent high interest rates that actually make payments unmanageable — a problem Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-majority House thus far have been unable to solve.
In fighting for Southern Illinois, Severin said he plans to find fiscal and economic solutions.
“Right now we’ve gotten to a point where you want yours and I want mine, and nobody’s willing to budge," Severin said. "This is not going to work and we’ve learned that in Illinois. I want to run so that I can make people say they’re proud to be from Illinois, where we’re not being ranked 50th, 49th or 48th in all these different categories. I’d like to see us at the top."
For instance, to make the state a stronger competitor with other states for jobs, he plans to stop the flow of exiting corporations and businesses from the state by revamping laws related to insurance and workers compensation, among others, which many companies complain are unaffordable.
The goal is to keep jobs that pay employees good wages by making changes companies find more fiscally attractive and that encourage them to stay in the state, Severin said.
And because unions are equally important to the state, Severin, who is co-owner of a small athletic supply business with 12 employees, said union jobs need to be palatable not only to the union workers, but also to the companies that want to use union workers.
“We need to keep businesses located in the state and still keep the wages for jobs at a rate so that you can live in Illinois and raise a family," he said. "So how does that happen? That’s the trick that everyone is trying to figure out."
In citing his passion, service-mindedness and strong family-engrained work ethic, Severin said he is prepared for finding the answers to what ails District 117 and the state.
“My father taught us that as a family that started out with nothing, there’s an answer for everything and you just gotta find it," he said. "And there are answers for the state of Illinois. Some of them we’ve found, but we’re not willing to address them and we need to start doing that."
Severin has served almost 30 years on the Benton School District No. 47 Board and currently sits on the board of Centerstone of Illinois Inc., a comprehensive social service agency.
In the November elections, Severin is running against Democrat incumbent Rep. John Bradley, who has held the District 117 seat since 2003.