State Senator Sue Rezin is running for Congress in the 14th District and she is a Lincoln Series alumna.
- What inspired you to run for office or get involved in politics?
I first ran for my local school board because of my desire to improve the education of children and to use tax dollars for education in the wisest manner possible. Later, I decided to run for State Representative to make a difference in the lives of others. Now, I am running for Congress because I can have a larger positive impact on all the issues I have been passionate about by serving at the federal level.
- What is your campaign slogan and how did it come to be?
It is: Results. Not Resistance. It came to be because it perfectly summarizes why I am running and why I think I am the best candidate in this race. “Results” is two-fold. First, because getting results—even within a super-minority in the State Senate—is the hallmark of my State Senate service. It is also because “Results” are what people are demanding from their state and federal legislators instead of endless bickering and seeking partisan advantage over getting things done.
“Not Resistance” takes that a step further. From the first day of the new Democrat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Democrats have focused on an avalanche of subpoenas and endless investigations of President Trump’s administration at the expense of passing reforms they promised voters. Our people need action on a wide array of pressing issues that affect people’s lives. The “resistance” in Congress (of which incumbent Lauren Underwood is part of) has solely focused on political positioning as opposed to passing legislation and compromising with the Senate and the President to get things done.
- What in your experience has prepared you to run for Congress?
Aside from my professional background as a commercial real estate investor on behalf of my family, my husband, Keith, and I have raised four children. I know first-hand the challenges parents face - a critical component of what is needed in Congress.
I also have several years of education experience at the local level from my service as a school board member. I have first-hand knowledge of how federal education legislation will affect local schools. This experience has been invaluable while I have served in the State Senate and even more so when I serve in Congress.
As a State Senator for nine years, the next step to affect change is the U.S. House of Representatives in Congress. I have mastered the legislative process and witnessed how developing respectful relationships with colleagues matters in successful legislating. This is a key qualification for serving in Congress. Additionally, my experience as the state level allowed me to accurately represent the values of the majority of people I represent along while advocating for their economic interests, and provide constituent services to people who have individual problems with government. Because of this experience, I am ready to serve in Congress fully on Day One.
In the State Senate, I have excelled in passing legislation and negotiating with the other side of the aisle to get things done. For instance, earlier this year I sponsored a bill on pre-existing health conditions to ensure no one is denied health coverage because of pre-existing conditions. I succeeded in getting an unanimous vote in the Senate for that bill. Additionally, my bill on SIDS was just signed into law two months ago.
Finally, as a candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress, I have won all five elections in which I have been a candidate and that is a powerful electoral record for consideration by primary voters. Three of my state legislative elections were “Tier One” state legislative races. Contrast that with the fact that two of my opponents have terrible records of losing elections, while the other candidates in the primary have never been tested before in an election.
In previous elections, I have been tested by the strength of Madagn’s money and power backing my opponents and attacking my family in a nasty and desperate effort to win no matter the cost. Yet I persevered and prevailed on Election Day.
I have been vetted through Chicago-style politics and proven I have the inner strength to endure a hurricane of negative ads against me. This is a tremendous asset in running for Congress in what could be one of the top 15 races in the country.
Winning all five of my elections and defeating one of Madigan’s Democrat incumbent legislators is the toughest battle in any election. Our mission at hand in the 14th Congressional District is exactly the same—to defeat an incumbent legislator who is serving in the majority.
- What are your greatest achievements so far?
Most importantly, my husband and I have raised four children who have left the nest and in their own ways are hardworking, successful and honest citizens.
My election victories have made it possible for me to make a difference in the lives of millions of people’s lives from my legislative accomplishments as well as actions on behalf of those I serve in the State Senate. This covers acting to prevent elder abuse, healthcare, education, veterans, environment, energy production, flood mitigation and prevention, and shutting down polluters who were damaging neighborhoods while receiving political protection from ex-Governor Blagojevich.
- What are three things you want people to know about you?
First, I am a product of the opportunity afforded to the American Middle Class and am dedicated to nurturing that opportunity for everyone and for generations to come.
Second, the fuel that fires me to work so hard in winning elections comes from my desire to not only raise my own children well, but also to leave a lasting positive impact on as many people as possible - in large and small ways.
Last but not least, my mother has been a great inspiration to me. When I was young, she drove a school bus to help make ends meet. While I was in middle school, my mother went to college to become a teacher. Then she attended night classes to become a school principal and later moved on to became a superintendent. My mother’s determination didn’t end there. In the 1980s I remember my mother applying to become the first teacher, who would be trained to be an astronaut, to fly on the space shuttle, as part of nationwide competition. My mom’s example demonstrated that anyone, regardless of one’s age or background can achieve their dreams in America.
- Please share a little about your personal background.
I grew up on a family farm by Geneseo, Illinois, where my father farmed a modest 20 acres. While attending Augustana College, I met my husband, Keith, who went on to become an orthopedic surgeon. We have been married for 34 years, have four children, who are all now young adults, and live in Morris.
To volunteer or financially support State Senator Rezin's candidacy, please visit her website at rezinforcongress.com.