A Columbia man intends to take on U.S. Rep. Mike Bost for his congressional seat in 2018.
David Bequette, 37, announced Saturday that he will run as a Democrat in Illinois’ 12th District.
“All that politics has become is exactly why I want to do this. People need leaders that have walked in their shoes before. Illinois politics and much of the country’s politics has been a mechanism by which people are groomed for politics,” Bequette said in an email.
“I believe that to represent a broad array of constituents, you must also be able to empathize and first hand understand what it’s like to walk in their shoes. Being from a lower middle class, hardworking family, serving in the military, facing the horrors of medical debt with improper insurance, and starting several businesses from the ground up, I know what it’s like to be in a majority of our constituents’ shoes and I want to be their voice.”
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Bequette is currently in Armenia, helping Syrian refugees build small businesses.
Bequette graduated from Columbia High School, then went to Missouri Baptist College. One year later, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He completed his degree at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He worked as a government contractor, built three business, lectured in marketing and leadership and created two non-profit organizations.
He is married to Irina. The couple have three children.
Bost, a Republican from Murphysboro, represents District 12, which includes parts of 12 counties that begins north of Alton to runs south of Carbondale. Bost defeated Democratic incumbent Bill Enyart of Belleville in 2014. Prior to his election to Congress, Bost served for two decades in the Illinois House of Representatives. Bost and his wife, Tracy, have three children.
This seat was held for 25 years by Democrat Jerry Costello, D-Belleville, who retired in 2013.