The three Republican candidates to replace State Rep. Don Moffitt in the 74th district in Illinois have offered replies to a question-and-answer survey with GateHouse Media Illinois.

The three Republican candidates to replace State Rep. Don Moffitt in the 74th district in Illinois have offered replies to a question-and-answer survey with GateHouse Media Illinois.

Here below are the replies of Daniel M. Swanson, Wayne Saline and Mike DeSutter. All three will be voted upon in the March 15 General Primary Election.

Daniel M. Swanson

Age: 56

Current Occupation: Superintendent, Henry County Veterans Assistance Commission; Farmer; Lieutenant Colonel (Retired, United States Army)

Bio: I am a candidate for state representative due to Don Moffitt’s retirement, who served with great honor and distinction for 25 years. I will continue the work he started in advocating for our veterans, supporting our police, fire and emergency responders, and opposing tax increases.

I have 27 years experience as a Retired Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army, and 19 years in local elected office. As a combat veteran who negotiated talks in Iraq between the Iraqi and Peshmerga armies, I have made the tough decisions. As a school board member I learned to listen to my constituents and all the stakeholders, and do what is best for all concerned. My unique blend and depth of experience prepares me to serve in this role.

1. Why are you running for the 74th District?

To educate veterans on their earned healthcare and other benefits by engaging other state agencies in this collaborative effort toward awareness.

Provide a quality education for students K-12 and reduce mandates causing undue financial burdens to already strapped school districts.

Provide services to developmentally disabled children and adults through better accessibility to program and work opportunities.

Maintain a strong National Guard presence in the district; support state police and local police/fire protection departments and first responders.

Reduce regulations for small businesses and farmers to enhance growth and expansion.

Provide a strong voice to protect the unborn.

2. How has your experience made you the best candidate for the seat?

My 27-year military career taught me how to be a listener, problem solver, decision maker, team player/team builder/teamwork, coach-teacher-mentor, compassionate to others' needs and concerns, negotiator, role model, thinker, planner, loyal to team and mission, devoted, treat others with dignity and respect while expecting others to do the same, personal courage, public speaker, and honorable service.

17 years board of education taught me about mandates and public service.

Henry County Board service taught me local government operations.

Farm life taught me that hard work is rewarding.

Father experiences taught me how precious to see your children grow and begin their own families.

Husband experiences taught me how to sacrifice for the ones I love.

Christian beliefs helped me endure.

3. What are your top three priorities if elected?

1) pass a balanced budget without a tax increase and with spending under control

2) provide first class constituent service that never forgets to serve our seniors, our veterans, police and fire professionals, and emergency responders.

3) uphold the Constitution and all rights including right to life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, religious freedom, and the Second Amendment.

4. Do you support and plan to back ALL the items of Gov. Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda? If yes, why? If no, which parts do you not support and why?

Yes, I support Governor Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda. Governor Rauner is trying to right a sinking ship caused by Blagojevich-Quinn-Madigan. His turnaround agenda would do much good for Illinois.

5. Do you plan to term-limit yourself? Why or why not? If so, how long?

Yes and yes. I completed one career in the military and do not plan to make this a second career. I would set my limit at 10 years.

6. What would you do to fix the state’s financial crisis, including coming to an agreement on a budget during this current impasse?

Encourage open discussions between Governor Rauner and leadership. The Governor addressed his plans and intent in his State of the State Address and his budget address. He highlighted his plans to come together and reach an agreement to this budget impasse, yet Mr. Madigan remains a no-show. In the mean time, senior citizens and others suffer. As we all agree, get this fixed to focus on bringing jobs and opportunities back to Illinois.

Wayne Saline

Age: 56

Current Occupation: Farm Manager

Bio: Wayne Saline was born and raised in the 74th District. He is a third-generation farmer. He served the community as a volunteer firefighter for 30 years and was chief of the Rio Fire Department for 15 years. Wayne served on the Knox County Board for 11 years and was chairman of its finance committee for eight years. During his time as finance chairman, Knox County stopped borrowing money and had balanced budgets. Wayne was also chief negotiator for the county. As chief negotiator, he negotiated contracts that kept jobs while being fiscally responsible. Wayne has been an active member of the Knox County Republican party for many years. He is currently the party’s chairman and has served as the treasurer in the past.

1. Why are you running for the 74th District?

I have always believed in giving back to the community. From coaching basketball to being on the Knox County board, as well as volunteering for the Rio Fire Department and Knox County Pork Producers, community service has been important to me. This is an opportunity to not only help the people of the 74th District, but to provide a better future for the youth of the district. Illinois is at a critical juncture and I feel compelled to help fix the problems of the state.

2. How has your experience made you the best candidate for the seat?

My time on the Knox County Board taught me many valuable lessons. First was the ability to read and balance a governmental budget. Experience is required to learn to find places where cuts can be made without cutting services; serving on the Knox County Board gave me that experience. I was also able to work across the aisle to communicate the need for reform in order to balance the budget. My business and agricultural background, combined with my time on the board gives me an advantage in working through the system to create jobs.

3. What are your top three priorities if elected?

The top priority must be to create jobs. Putting people back to work in good paying jobs is the most important step in fixing our state. Secondly, we need to analyze the budget and make cuts to eliminate wasteful spending. These savings must be put toward paying the backlog of overdue bills. Finally, real and honest discussion on pension reform needs to be held. Finding the means to fund what is due should be balanced with a new pension plan for new hires. This combination should allow us to have a balanced budget.

4. Do you support and plan to back ALL the items of Gov. Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda? If yes, why? If no, which parts do you not support and why?

I fully support the Governor’s turnaround agenda. The majority of the items are intended to open up the bidding process, which will cut costs and allow for the completion of more projects. It also lets local governing bodies, who have better knowledge of each individual community’s needs and ability to pay, make decisions. Most importantly, it allows local voters to have the final say on all spending and property tax increases. Local voters should be authorizing taxes and spending on local projects, not Springfield or Chicago.

5. Do you plan to term-limit yourself? Why or why not? If so, how long?

From the first day of my campaign, I have stated that I will serve no more than three terms. While there have been many officials who have held themselves to higher standards and worked for the people, such as Representative Moffitt, too many have allowed power and large donors influence their decisions. Example one is Representative Madigan, who will not even allow a vote on the Governor’s agenda. Term limits will make elected officials more likely to work for the people and not the system.

6. What would you do to fix the state’s financial crisis, including coming to an agreement on a budget during this current impasse?

The state’s financial woes have been allowed to grow for years. This problem will require years to fix, but change must start now. Since I started my campaign, I have talked of a package of job growth, budget cuts, and tax reform. Eliminating overbearing regulations and workers’ compensation reform will attract new businesses and allow existing businesses to grow. This will increase revenue to the state, which, coupled with budget cuts, provides money to pay the state’s bills. Both sides must work together to compromise and reach a realistic, balanced budget, not the current unrealistic budget presented to the Governor.

Mike DeSutter

Age: 49

Current Occupation: Farmer, West Central FS Board President, OSF St. Mary’s Hospital Area-Wide Board, Trustee of St. John’s Catholic Church, Woodhull

Education: AlWood High School, Bachelor of Science from Illinois State University, in Agriculture Business

Bio: I live near Woodhull where I am part of a fourth-generation farming operation, producing corn and soybeans. I farm with two brothers and two nephews. I am married to Melanie, who is a 4th-generation farmer herself. We have three children: Charlene, married to Luke Sullivan, lives in Galesburg. Charlene is an engineer for Purina and Luke works in his family’s business, Sullivan’s Auctions. Our second child, John, is a freshman at Iowa State, majoring in mechanical engineering. Our youngest, Madeline, is a sophomore at Alleman High School. I’ve been involved in many ag, community and commodity organizations, as well as heavy involvement in Farm Bureau. I won the State and National Young Farmer Achievement Award and finished as State Discussion Meet Runner-up twice.

1. Why I am running for the 74th District:

I am not a politician looking for the next step up the political ladder; rather, I am a local resident and business owner with deep roots in the district. I will go to Springfield and make the tough decisions that need to be made, to turn this state around. As a farmer, I cannot simply move to another state. I love this area. I want my children and grandchildren to have a good education and job opportunities so they can raise their families here. I’m a proven leader that is a strong advocate for the economic interests of this district.

2. How has your experience made you the best candidate?

I am the only candidate with an Ag Business degree.

Leadership – IALP, Galesburg Leadership Program, ALOT

As President of West Central FS, I led the company to quadruple our area’s footprint.

OSF St Mary’s Hospital Board, West Central FS Board, Knights of Columbus, Costa and AlWood School Boards

I have deep grassroots – three generations at St. John’s Catholic Church; 2012 Farm Family of the Year

Lobbied in Springfield and Washington, D.C.

I could serve on a variety of committees in Springfield, including: Agriculture, Education, Health Care, Small Business, Transportation

3. What are your top three priorities, if elected?

MORE JOBS: with children entering the workforce, I understand how important good-paying jobs are. I’ll fight to make it easier for employers to move here, and grow agribusiness opportunities. We cannot let more jobs leave.

TERM LIMITS: After a decade of Democratic corruption, government isn’t working. I will push for term limits to break the stranglehold entrenched politicians have on our state.

RESTORING ILLINOIS: Something must be done to get Illinois back on track – before it’s too late. I will rein in spending, hold the line on taxes, and enforce state government to live within its means.

4. Do you support and plan to back ALL the items of Gov. Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda? If yes, why? If no, which parts do you not support and why?

Yes, Gov. Rauner’s agenda has merit. I look at it as a short and long range plan for Illinois that may change as we move forward.

Illinois must get its fiscal house in order. Economic growth is critical to provide adequate funding for essential state programs.

Joining a union should be a choice.

Voters decide by referendum if taxes should be raised.

Term limits of General Assembly and statewide officeholders

Combining the Comptroller and Treasurer offices

Pensions: $1 of every $4 collected goes to pensions

Buyouts; new workers need a 401K plan

5. Do you plan to term-limit yourself? Why or why not? If so, how long?

Yes, 8-10 year limit. I share the thoughts of our founders: go to Springfield, get things done, come back home, and let someone else have a chance.

6. What would you do to fix the state’s financial crisis, including coming to an agreement on a budget during this current impasse?

Meet on a regular basis.

Make education a top priority. Allot financial resources for this purpose. It is costing the state over $50 million in interest on back payments. That would cover a lot of funding shortfall to our K-12 and colleges.

Involve all the members of the House and Senate instead of just the Governor and the Four Tops

Eliminate legislators’ pet projects. We need to differentiate our “needs” from our “wants.”