Swanson focusing on local Issues and helping community prior to elections
Republican Daniel Swanson is vying for the seat in District 74 left behind by retiring state Rep. Donald Moffitt, R-Gilson, against Democrat Bill Butts.
Yet throughout his campaign, his focus has been on helping his community.
Swanson, a military veteran and multigenerational farmer, is an Alpha resident while Butts hails from Galesburg, where he is a practicing attorney. The West Central Reporter recently reached Swanson to get a sense of where he is heading with his local campaign. He did not mention any key state issues that are hot news headlines at the moment, but rather mostly discussed his particular local community efforts and helping people in the area where he lives.
"I've been visiting local businesses to get a feel for the challenges people have with limited dollars," Swanson told the West Central Reporter.
Swanson recently offered his opinion about certain issues including taxes, the state budget and redistricting. Swanson said he opposes Butts' proposal to switch to a progressive tax system and believes many people at the federal level would prefer a flat tax, which Swanson said is similar to how the Illinois state tax system works.
Swanson said he believes in offering more independence to school districts for educational policy decisions and wants to bring people across the aisle to negotiate the state budget. Swanson also attributed his decision making in politics to his work in negotiating and communicating between various parties in the Middle East during military operations.
Swanson, despite his busy run for office in District 74, said he wants to focus on helping those in his own community address local issues by being neighborly and caring.
"I've been visiting senior centers and going to different kinds of parades, phone calling and things like that," Swanson said. "Nothing targeted right now. I have been visiting and helping out at various organizations locally that have a Phoenix House program where they help challenged people put products together. I got to Bridgeway, to help people in need. That's kind of what I've been doing, just getting out trying to meet people."
So Swanson's campaign seems to be going well, in terms of support. He has raised far more funds so far than Butts. He still finds time to spend with his family, which he considers very important and they try to help out with the campaign as well.
"Right now, my wife and I are putting up some signs," Swanson said. "It's a team effort here. You gotta work as a team."
Being a team player and the theme of teamwork has been a central point of Swanson's politics, continuing to draw from his experiences in the U.S. Army, where he served the country for 23 years, including one in Iraq where he organized talks between Iraqi and Kurdish forces in Kurdistan.