MURPHYSBORO — Pointing to federal policy he says stymies small business, weakens the military and threatens the coal industry with possible extinction, state Rep. Mike Bost will forgo a 10th term in the General Assembly and instead seek the 12th District Congressional seat, he announced Monday.

The Republican told an audience of some 100 supporters on the last leg of a three-city swing in Belleville, Mt. Vernon and then his hometown of Murphysboro that the American dream might not be there for his grandchildren should D.C. continue a path of over-spending and over-regulating.

“They’re the reason I am up here today,” Bost, R-Murphysboro, started in making his announcement. “I’m worried and disappointed with what’s been happening in Washington, D.C., and I’m worried about the future of our country, about the future they are going to have.”

Several of the national issues he said he is concerned with -the national debt and the country’s ability to pay its bills among them -mirror those in a General Assembly still trying to figure out what to do with a $100 billion pension crisis and the lowering of the state’s bond rating because of it.

But Bost said many of the state’s problems, including recently released unemployment figures of 9.2 percent, stem from decisions made in the U.S. capital, and he was quick to point to the Affordable Health Care Act, stiffer clean air laws, higher taxes and more that he believes curbs job growth and a stronger Southern Illinois economy.

A former Marine out of high school, Bost said he is willing to take the fight to D.C.

“It’s only going to get worse, I’m afraid, unless someone steps up and says, ‘Let’s change this.’ Let’s turn the course and let’s start doing something real radical like providing more jobs and paying for our bills. ... We need government to simply provide an opportunity for success by getting out of the way.”

One area he wants the government to remain involved is in funding the military and support for veterans, he said.

Bost acknowledged Democrats’ criticism of his well-known, viral tirades he has had on the General Assembly floor, including throwing a large stack of paper into the air while challenging the state’s Democratic leadership. But in response to those criticisms, including that such tirades have no place in Congress, Bost said he would not want to vote for someone who lacks his passion.

He also is confident he can win in a district that has been held by a Democrat for decades, just as his state district was when he was first elected in 1995. Bost said he has succeeded by building a constituency among all voters despite party affiliation and plans to do the same in the congressional district that includes the Metro East.

Bost, who will give up his state seat when his term expires in 2015, will go up against Doug Bucshon, an Illinois Army National Guard veteran and former sports journalist in the 2014 Republican primary. The winner will face off against current Rep. Democrat Bill Enyart of Belleville, who announced in May his intentions to seek re-election.

“I look forward to debating the issues with whoever my opponent will be at an appropriate time in the future. The people of Southern Illinois sent me to Congress to fight for jobs, protect Medicare and Social Security, and ensure the future of Scott Air Force Base. There will be a time to campaign, but right now I am focused on the marching orders given to me by 12th District voters,” Enyart said in a written statement.

Supporters in Murphysboro are confident Bost can carry the district, including possible successor Sharee Langenstein, a Murphysboro attorney who points to the candidates’ voting records.

“They’re going to look at the 20 years of service that Mr. Bost has put in to service and compare voting records and they are going see the people of Southern Illinois are aligned with the voting record of Mike Bost as opposed to the voting record of Mr. Enyart,” she said of voters.

A former candidate for Jackson County state’s attorney, Langenstein said she is considering running for Bost’s seat.

Jackson County Republican Party Chairwoman Gloria Campos said voters will recognize Bost’s passion is needed in Congress to protect their interests, and Bost’s long-held seat will help him in his bid in the larger district.

“I think it is time for the 12th Congressional District to see the light. People are getting fed up with so much inaction. We need to have a balance in our nation and look for strong people with strong conviction who will fight for what we in the district represent,” she said.

Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens agreed.

“Mike Bost served Murphysboro and Southern Illinois for many, many years in the statehouse and I’m just really happy to see somebody from Murphysboro moving up the ladder and representing us in Congress,” Stephens said. “I don’t think any mayor would be upset if a resident of their town was a U.S. representative, and I don’t just say that because of that but because he is highly qualified.”


(7) comments


Good lord, is this the best they have to offer? He can't even clean things up in the town he lives in. Chicago is a bastion of integrity compared to his town.

However, I am so glad he is running for the kids! For a second there, I thought he was doing it for big business or the coal companies.


Sam, Is the president of the united states from Illinois? The worst financially strapped state in the union. So just what has the most powerful man in the world done for his home state? Now lets talk about what one lonely conservative politician can do, in a state ruled by liberals. Absolutely Nothing.

Governor Number 40892-424
Governor Number 40892-424

Bost beats the Bellville alternative.


Supposedly holy er than thou righteous conservative right wing Bankruptcy Court judges siding with chamber of commerce members have pretty much screwed lots of retired folk and lots of working class peeps out of their bargained for and earned insurance benefits, and, it can only get worse with republi-can folks like Bost, Bhoner (bone er) and the rest of the right side of the aisle being even close to a majority & running things in D C. We really need to repo the house.


Mike Bost has been a lousy, ineffective state rep, so why in God's name would anyone even think of sending this hothead to Washington?

Just what we need is this guy throwing his angry hissy fits on C-Span. Yeah let's make Illinois an even bigger national embarrassment.

Bost needs help for his obvious anger issues, not a promotion.


Dear Mike, I have not forgotten what you did to all members of the State's five retirement systems last year. Southern Illinois is full of people who are retired from these systems and/or working and members of them. You voted last year (and the only legislator to do so from this area) to start charging retires for health insurance. People like me who when I retired knew how much my cost of living was going to be and now thanks to you and your vote on this issue will not know from year to year what it will be. Now you want to go to the Federal system, and every year I will have to watch how much the State decides to raise my insurance cost. This was a stab in the back by you Mike Bost to every one who is a member of these retirement systems. I will not vote for you and will actively work against your campaign. Now it is your turn to pay the piper for screwing retirees, I would encourage all who are going to be and are hurt by your vote on this to vote against you for anything your run for.

The Mighty Pen
The Mighty Pen

While I think he's more honest and decent than most major party candidates that run for Federal office...I disagree with some of his policy views too much to vote for him. Barring any unforeseen difficulties in petitioning, Paula Bradshaw of the Green Party will probably be on the ballot as well and I will volunteer and vote for her and her campaign.
It's times like these that I wish Congressional elections were decided via proportional representation rather than winner-take-all. Enyart needs to be voted out in light of his votes on the Amash amendment (he voted against it) and CISPA, and his character (that was one dirty campaign last fall...), and yet here we have what will likely be two decent candidates to choose over. I can already hear the "spoiler" attacks from PACs and the like...what a tragedy for democracy...

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