Press Release (IPR Exclusive): Jake Leonard Announces Candidacy For 95th Legislative District Seat In Illinois
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - INDEPENDENT POLITICAL REPORT EXCLUSIVE
March 25, 2016
CONTACT: John Broux, Public Relations
JAKE LEONARD ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR 95TH LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT SEAT
SPRINGFIELD, IL, March 25, 2016 - During a radio appearance earlier today on News/Talk 970 WMAY in Springfield, Jake Leonard, 29, officially declared his candidacy for state representative in Illinois' 95th Representative District, which covers all of Montgomery County and portions of Christian, Macoupin and Madison counties.
When asked why he had chosen the Libertarian Party, he stated, "I have always considered myself an independent-type voter and for some reason, there was no way I could vote either way, so I became interested in the Libertarian Party back in 2010. I voted for Gary Johnson in 2012 and I only thought that never in the district's history have they ever had a third-party candidate run for state representative, so why not start now and start the trend to get more Libertarians to run for office?"
Leonard expressed interest in running for the seat in October 2015 following former candidate Christopher Hicks' departure to run for the Republican Party nomination against incumbent Avery Bourne and former educator Dennis Scobbie. He was recently endorsed by the Libertarian Party of Illinois during the candidate segment of the business meeting, which was held on March 12. He will be facing off against Republican incumbent Avery Bourne and Democrat challenger Mike Mathis in the November 8 general election if he's able to submit at least 1,756 petition signatures to get on the ballot.
"I knew I had to be the individual to step in and give the people a choice other than that of a Republican and a Democrat," Leonard stated during in an interview with the Nokomis Free Press-Progress on Wednesday.
"One of the problems I look forward to addressing in my campaign is the fiscal and pension crises that Illinois is experiencing; it is a taxation issue as well as an overspending issue. I am running to restore Illinois back to a state of fiscal responsibility that brings in positive cash flow." Currently, Illinois has a $9 billion annual deficit, owes $159 billion in IOUs and is expected to hit a $1 trillion public employee pension shortfall by 2018 and is the last state in the U.S. to be operating without a fiscal budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year with the 2016-17 budget deadline quickly coming.
Jake Leonard, an entrepreneur, owner of a business specializing in multimedia broadcasting, freelance journalism and information technology and a freelance political writer for the Free Press-Progress, resides in Nokomis and is currently attending Kaskaskia College pursuing a degree in network administration and security, with expected completion in 2018. You can follow his campaign through his website at jakeleonardforliberty.com and at @LeonardIL95th on Twitter.
To interview Jake Leonard, contact press relations director John Broux at PublicRelations@jakeleonardforliberty.com or contact Jake at campaign headquarters at (217) 630-2107 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 14 - Jake Leonard Nominated & Confirmed For State Representative This Past Weekend
For those who were unable to tune in this morning, I was in Springfield (actually Riverton) talking briefly about my campaign for state representative in the 95th District with News/Talk 970 WMAY's Greg Bishop.
The following is from the March 23, 2016 edition of the Free Press-Progress in Nokomis:
Prior to today, I've had the honor of supporting Julie Fox in her campaigns for state comptroller in the 2010 and 2014 general elections, both races where Republican Judy Baar Topinka ultimately won her re-election bids. Sadly, a short time after her re-election in 2014, she passed away from complications related to a stroke. Following her passing, in the waning days of the Pat Quinn administration, Topinka was replaced by Jerry Stermer, who would be replaced by Leslie Geissler Munger when Bruce Rauner took office in January 2015. The general election in November for this post is a special election determining who will serve the remainder of Topinka's term, which expires in January 2019.
Today, I consider it a great honor today to be making the following endorsement:
If you're an avid Illinois historian, you would more than likely already know that this state has never had an accountant serving in an auditor or comptroller capacity since it achieved statehood in the United States of America on December 3, 1818. However, looking back to the Northwestern Territory in 1799, Rice Bullock wasn't even remotely qualified to serve as the auditor of public accounts for the entire territory.
Claire Ball is more than qualified to be our state comptroller. She is an accountant by trade and worked relentlessly to earn her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in accounting. Those facts alone makes Claire more than qualified to closely monitor the state's finances. Claire not only has the expertise and experience to get the job done, but she also has the charisma and passion toward her campaign as much as she does for the liberty movement. I listened at length about what she had to offer in regards to resolving the financial mess this state is in while I was at the Libertarian Party of Illinois state convention this past weekend and it hit me......
How is it that Illinois has gone so long without a qualified individual looking over the state's finances? It doesn't make sense to me how there's never been any level of accountability since 1799 or even after statehood in 1818.
Yes, that's my internal historical nerd coming out in sincere outrage because Illinois has gone through history this long without a qualified individual serving as the agent of fiscal accountability for an entire state governmental body, but that is all the more why I am making my official endorsement of Claire Ball for state comptroller this year.
It will be my honor in the upcoming months that follow today to assist in the charge to rally support in south central Illinois for Claire Ball.
In a business meeting of the Libertarian Party of Illinois during their state convention, Jake Leonard was formally nominated and confirmed for the state representative race in the 95th district, which comprises of portions of Madison, Macoupin and Christian counties, as well as all of Montgomery County.
The general election race this November will be decided after a Republican Party primary is held tomorrow, March 15. The Republican primary involves three candidates vying for the party endorsement: incumbent Avery Bourne, Christopher Hicks and Dennis Scobbie. The winner of that primary would also face Democrat challenger Mike Mathis.
The ballot access campaign for Libertarians to get on the general election ballot kicks off on March 29 and will run for 90 days before the petitions are delivered to the Illinois Board of Elections.
Also confirmed are comptroller candidate Claire Ball, U.S. Senate candidate Kenton (Kent) McMillen and state representative candidate in the 117th district Scott Schluter.
Many days have passed since last October when I decided to toss my name in the ring for the Libertarian Party nomination in the state representative race in Illinois' 95th District following Christopher Hicks' decision to make the jump to the Republican Party. There is not one moment where I wasn't trying to draw up a campaign plan. There were many nights where I got by on only 2-3 hours of sleep, because I was drawing up strategies on how I can sway the voters in Taylorville or Litchfield or Carlinville or even the lesser known communities within the district.
However, we are just a couple of days away from the Libertarian Party of Illinois state convention and I want to be able to express my passion for this campaign to my fellow Libertarians in Illinois and bring forth for the first time in state history the state's first libertarian caucus in the legislature. It will most definitely be a struggle, as my volunteers and myself will have to drum up a little over three times what the Democrats and Republicans are required to submit to be on the ballot - and it's all part of a campaign to get 40,000 signatures to make the Libertarian Party a permanent fixture in the state of Illinois.
I know I'm excited for the opportunity before me. Even if the inevitable happens, I will take pleasure in the fact that I took a stand against the two-party political establishment and gave the people a viable alternative to the establishment. I already know I will most definitely be facing off against Mike Mathis in the general election, as he will be running unopposed for the Democratic Party nomination. The race that the people of this district need to follow next Tuesday is the Republican primary, where there's a three-way race for the GOP nomination, which involves incumbent Avery Bourne, Christopher Hicks and Dennis Scobbie to shape up what will become the general election race.
The race to get a minimum of 1,756 signatures to get on the ballot starts on Tuesday, March 29 and I will be having a brief petition drive kickoff that day before I go out and start collecting signatures myself. If you'd like to help me that day, I would appreciate it!