Connecting with citizens is key to general election victory, Swanson says
Daniel Swanson of Alpha claimed the Republican House nomination for District 74 on March 15 after beating rivals Michael DeSutter and Wayne Saline in the primary.
The retired Army Lieutenant Colonel whose family owns a farm, earned 6,719 votes of the 13,842 votes in Bureau, Henry, Knox, Lee and Mercer counties.
“I feel good. It is a win, but it is certainly not the Super Bowl,” Swanson said. “The Super Bowl is coming up Nov. 8, so that is the one we are training for now and getting ready and getting prepared for. That is the one that counts.”
Swanson is vying for Republican Rep. Donald L. Moffitt’s seat. Swanson’s general election opponent is Democrat Bill Butts, an attorney from Galesburg, Illinois.
“It has been a predominantly Republican district, but I sure can’t rest on that,” Swanson said. “I’ve got to continue to meet the people of the 74th District and get out and continue to campaign and win their votes for the November election and show them that I am truly the best candidate for the job.”
When asked what he thought it was about his campaign that resonated with voters, Swanson said he simply made himself accessible to voters and was honest with them.
“Just [being] down to earth, honest and candid; and I met a lot of great people across the district. [From] pancake breakfasts, to Christmas programs, to just many, many, many different social events that my wife and I attended. And we’ve got our face out there and we’re a team,” he said.
Swanson said he is looking forward to the summer and the opportunity to walk in parades and meet more people.
“I had some great endorsements: Congressman Bobby Schilling endorsed me; my good close friend Lt. Col. (retired) Bill Albrecht was one of my endorsees; 1st SSgt Ron Hall, who I served with in the military — just a lot of good local people and people [throughout] the district that were recognizable and certainly good people from within their communities,” Swanson said.
Being a 27-year veteran has fueled Swanson’s desire to advocate for his fellow veterans and help get all of the state agencies involved in assisting veterans. At the forefront of his mind; however, is the current budget impasse crippling Illinois.
“Right now our state is without a budget. Are we still going to be at that impasse come November?” Swanson said. “I certainly hope not, but if we haven’t by then it is certainly going to be a bigger issue than it is today. The same issues I campaign on for the primary will be the same ones I focus on in the general election.”
Swanson thanked voters for putting their trust in him and said in order to win the general election, he plans to rely on continuing to connect with people.
“When I am out and about I like for people to walk up and say, ‘Hi this is who I am.’ I just like to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about myself,” Swanson said. “In the military, I found I had to find my go-to people. I didn’t need to know everything, I just needed to know who to go to for advice and information. So as I went through my primary, I lined up some of my preliminary go-to people for information, so when I do eventually get into office I know who to rely on.”