Massac County state's attorney announces IL House run - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Massac County state's attorney announces IL House run

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MASSAC CO. -- A competitive race is shaping up in one southern Illinois legislative district.

Tuesday, Massac County's State's Attorney Patrick Windhorst announced his plan to run against longtime representative Brandon Phelps.

Windhorst plans to run as a Republican to challenge Democratic incumbent Phelps in the 118th District.

Phelps has held the seat since 2003.

Windhorst says his first priority is removing Mike Madigan from the speaker's chair.

Doing that, he says, starts with replacing Phelps.

"Right now our representative is supporting Mike Madigan," Windhorst said. "Mike Madigan is holding back all of the reforms that are going to turn our state around. Until we can remove Madigan, we're not going to have the change we need, and to to remove Madigan we've got to remove Phelps."

Windhorst says he's considered a run since the beginning of the year, but that he made his decision after Representative Phelps voted to override Governor Rauner's budget veto last month.

"His vote for the tax increase this year, to me that showed he's gone well beyond even support of Madigan, to completely adopting his agenda," Windhorst said.

Windhorst says he will work to bring conservative reforms to the state and remove the statehouse from the grasp of career politicians.

"I think the biggest challenge is fighting the career politicians in Springfield," Windhorst said. "For some reason they don't understand that our state is circling the drain."

He says his law enforcement background and status as a political outsider make him a good candidate to shake up Springfield and  fight for taxpayers, not political elites.

Windhorst says that he'll continue his job as Massac County State's Attorney for now, but will step down, if elected.

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