PITTSFIELD, Ill. -- Pittsfield business owner Jonas Petty is making a run in the Republican primary for the Illinois House seat currently held by state Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville.
Petty sees himself as a reform candidate and has set his sights on restructuring Illinois' almost 7,000 units of government. If elected in the Illinois House's 100th District, he plans to propose measures to streamline the state's government and curb its continuing expansion. He is also eyeing reforms in education mandates, pensions, Medicaid and entitlements.
"Illinois has more government entities than any other state in the nation, by a considerable amount," Petty said. "There are a lot of redundancies that burden the citizens out there who are working two or three jobs to make ends meet."
A Pittsfield native, Petty studied structural engineering at Southern Illinois University and worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation's Bureau of Bridges and Structures for 21/2 years. He and his wife, Jane Ann, own J. Petty & Co., the parent company of the William Watson Hotel, Free Press Coffee and Petty Properties. The couple have four children.
Petty considers himself a conservative, describing his views in an interview with the State Journal-Register in Springfield as "very pro-life" and emphasizing his belief in the Second Amendment.
"When it comes to reform, my goal is to write legislation and to go throughout the state and sell it extremely hard," he said. "That's the thing you hear everyone talk about, but no one comes up with concrete solutions."
He plans to release a written document outlining his platform by early September. He has vowed to accept money only from individuals and no business organizations. His campaign slogan, "Values at Work," is a mantra he hopes to put into action.
"Your values have to align with your actions," Petty said. "Sometimes politicians don't allow their actions to reflect their values. I'm running for something, and I believe our district has an opportunity if it elects someone willing to go and put in the work."
Petty views his business background as an advantage in the race.
"I've made good decisions and bad decisions. We're all human, but it's most important to learn from each and every one," he said. "Politicians seem not to learn from their mistakes. Somehow, we got to the place we're at. History has proven doubling down doesn't work."
The 100th District comprises Calhoun, Green, Morgan, Pike, and Scott counties. Parts of Jersey, Macoupin and Sangamon counties also fall within the district.