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Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 12:54 am

Former Springfield alderman eyes legislature

Frank Edwards wants to replace Jimenez

Former Springfield Alderman Frank Edwards

Former Springfield alderman Frank Edwards wants to be a state legislator.

Edwards confirms that he’s in the running to replace Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, R-Leland Grove, in the House of Representatives.  Jimenez shocked many political observers last month by announcing that she won’t run for reelection next year in the 99th House District that includes Springfield, Chatham, Pleasant Plains, Auburn, Pawnee and New Berlin.

The Sangamon County Republican Party is expected to make an endorsement on Monday.

“Let’s just say I put my name in,” Edwards said.

At least a half-dozen other Republicans have shown an interest in the seat, including attorney David Kelm, former restaurant owner Mike Murphy, restaurant owner Mike Coffey, Jr., attorney Kent Grey, Jim Kaitschuk, a former staffer in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration, and William Brewer, a member of the Ball-Chatham School Board.

Edwards, a former Springfield fire chief,  served as a city alderman from 2003 until 2015, when term limits prevented him seeking another council term. He ran for city treasurer two years ago but was defeated by Misty Buscher. He says that he didn’t work hard enough.

“That was absolutely my fault,” Edwards said of his loss to Buscher. “I didn’t get out and turn over every stone.”

Edwards, whose wife Cinda is Sangamon County coroner, said that he expects the campaign will cost as much as $250,000. He said that he believes Rauner’s “headed in the right direction,” but he doesn’t agree with the governor’s methods.

“I just don’t like this blasting people in public,” Edwards said.

Edwards said that he likely would not have voted to override Rauner’s veto of the state budget last summer. He said that he disagrees with Rauner’s decision to sign House Bill 40, which provides Medicaid funding for abortion and is intended to ensure that abortion will remain legal in Illinois if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Edwards said that he’s running because he doesn’t feel that the district has been getting sufficient representation.

“I just look at this and I go, ‘How come we’re not standing up and saying ‘Why are all these jobs going to Chicago’” Edwards said. “Why are we killing our city here?”

Contact Bruce Rushton at brushton@illinoistimes.com.
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