Letters to the Editor

It is time that we embrace the process of primary elections

David Bequette, of Columbia, is a Democrat seeking his party’s nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, in the 12th Congressional District of Illinois.
David Bequette, of Columbia, is a Democrat seeking his party’s nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, in the 12th Congressional District of Illinois. Provided

Dear BND Editorial Board,

A response to your editorial piece, “Expecting competition, choices and churn in U.S. Congress elections.”

I’d like to begin by thanking the journalists at BND for their fair and balanced coverage of the upcoming November 2018, congressional elections. Your reporters have done an incredible job at reaching out to potential and announced Democratic candidates and have done so with journalistic integrity. In my case, I have nothing but positive things to say about their professionalism and creativity in their coverage both on the online journal and through their social media presence.

With that being said, I’d like respond to your editorial comments regarding the upcoming District 12 congressional race. You briefly mentioned the handful of candidates that have announced their intentions to run. All but one of these candidates have a common thread in that they are political outsiders, have stated their commitment to improving our district, and have pledged to be a voice for Democratic values. Several of these candidates have impressive backgrounds and have the opportunity to truly be a voice for change from within the community, not serving the interests of DC party elites, special interests, or big money.

Your editorial focused on two candidates. On one hand, an incumbent with growing unpopularity, a lack of presence in public discourse, and a quiet complicity with the moves being made by the current administration and GOP leadership. On the other, an unconfirmed candidate (as of the date of this article), who, according to BND’s own reporting is “seriously considering a run” only after being recruited by the DCCC and is “clearly more conservative” than the rest of the Democratic contenders. Neither of these choices seems to put the interests, aspirations, and will of District 12’s voters at the center of the upcoming congressional race.

Unfortunately, this strategy would leave out some 200,000 plus potential registered voters who may be more excited about experienced, local, and caring political outsiders who are not beholden to Washington. It is time that we embrace the process of primary elections, embrace a broad field of “choices,” and leave the selection of our next congressional representative to the constituents, friends, and neighbors that make up our district. It is with this sentiment in mind that I plan on running to represent the diverse, hard-working, and deserving people of Illinois District 12 in the U.S. Congress.

If we are truly looking for candidates that aren’t going to bring in “50 million in dark money,” we’ll all have to look beyond the incumbent and the hand-picked “choice” before us.

David Bequette is seeking the Democratic nomination for the Illinois 12th Congressional District.

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