Boland announces candidacy for 7th term
Whether Rep. Mike Boland would run again for for his seat, challenge Mike Jacobs for the senate seat Jacobs was appointed to, or shoot for running for state treasurer was the subject of intense speculation for a long time, especially in light of how it would affect the calculus of things should Boland leave his seat open for other, less calcified candidates.
There's been a lot of posturing, positioning, and speculation, and though that was largely squashed by the appearance of Speaker Mike Madigan on Aug. 3rd of last year, and his issuing of an edict commanding all parties to stay put, shut up, hold hands, and get re-elected, in Boland's case, and get elected, in Jacobs' case, the slim chance that Boland could still strike out on his own existed.
Some of the more perrenially hopeful may have continued to harbor some hope that Boland would cast fortune to the wind and go for it somewhere else, but any chance of that is now finally and officially over.
Saying he fights for the working men and women of the 71st District and wants to keep up the fight, State Rep. Mike Boland, D-East Moline, announced Friday he will seek a seventh term.
Mr. Boland, who is running unopposed in the March primary, will face Republican Steve Haring, of Savanna, in November's general election. He announced his re-election bid at the Silvis Public Library. The 71st District includes parts of Rock Island, Henry, Whiteside, and Carroll counties.
"It is an honor to represent local families in Springfield and work to make life better for my constituents," he said. "I am a strong believer in the idea that people who work hard every day to support their families deserve to have public officials who work hard on their behalf.
"I've tried to improve the lives of the people who live here and work hard every day."
Mr. Boland also made stops in Savanna and Albany to announce his re-election bid. Mr. Boland received 55 percent of the vote in the 2004 election to defeat Mr. Haring.
He considers energy, health insurance, and education funding as top issues for a seventh term. Mr. Boland has also lobbied Gov. Rod Blagojevich on opening the Thomson prison. The governor made a vague promise about the prison during a recent visit to the Quad-Cities
"Every time I see him, I hammer him on that," Mr. Boland said. "He has told me he is working on it.
"I've given the governor many proposals over the years," he said. "I think it should've been open and could've been opened."
Mr. Boland said he supports the governor's capital improvements plan, but would like to see money for Western Illinois University's Quad-Cities campus and for widening U.S. 30 between Morrison and Fulton included in the plan.
In the current legislative session he is sponsored legislation requiring the state to purchase flexible fuel vehicles, hybrid cars and bio-diesel compatible vehicles.
He also supports an increase for the Illinois Veterans Assistance Fund.
Mr. Boland told supporters he brought $39.6 million in education funding to the district last year. He would like to work on new school funding formulas that take the burden off of property taxes but noted that Gov. Blagojevich won't discuss the issue until after the November election.