Metro-East News

Another challenger wants to take on Bost

Dean Pruitt
Dean Pruitt

Another challenger aspires to have his name on the ballot opposing Congressman Mike Bost for U.S. House District 12.

Democrat Dean Pruitt, of rural Millstadt, 64, is hoping he will win the Democratic primary then face the incumbent Bost in 2018.

Pruitt, co-founder, builder, and science director of the City Museum, said Wednesday that his children encouraged him to get involved after the most recent U.S. presidential election. Pruitt said he was a supporter of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders.

“If I can apply this amount of tenacity to a campaign, then I believe I can I win,” Pruitt said.

Before his involvement with City Museum, Pruitt was a commercial liaison to the Russian Academy of Sciences, living in there after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He is a mathematician, small business owner, environmental scientist, machinist and farmer.

“Because of my unconventional background, I will be able to relate to many of the voters of the 12th — the blue collar workers, the farmers, the working man,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt said he has a great deal of respect for David Bequette, of Columbia, who announced Monday that he would seek the Democratic nomination, because he is a veteran who works with Syrian refugees. He said he hopes voters will look at issues and the Democrat who is selected can defeat Bost.

“I hope we can take back the 12th for the people,” Pruitt said. “I hope we will agree that we will take on Bost.”

Bost, a Republican from Murphysboro, represents District 12, which includes parts of 12 counties that begins north of Alton and 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.

Beth Hundsdorfer: 618-239-2570, @bhundsdorfer