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Aaron Smith announces his candidacy for Representative of 118th District of Illinois House

MARION — Aaron Smith of Marion announced Tuesday evening that he is a Republican candidate for state representative in the new 118th District of the Illinois House at an event held in Tower Square Pizza.

Smith is a partner in Smith Hafeli Inc., a commercial construction firm, and vice chairman of John A. Logan College Board of Trustees.

Smith had no plans to run for office until he saw the map of the new legislative districts for the state.

“Chicago Democrats played politics with the map once again and cost us our representative,” Smith said. “I asked myself who is going to stand up for our region in Springfield?”

Aaron Smith for state representative

Aaron Smith of Marion announces his candidacy for state representative in the 118th District of the Illinois House on Tuesday at Tower Square Pizza in Marion.

He talked to family and friends and prayed about before deciding that he was the person who should fight for Southern Illinois.

Smith believes Southern Illinois has a set of values that do not always conform to the values of the northern region of the state. He says the state is pushing values that this region does not want, particularly in schools.

He is also concerned about the business climate in the state. Smith is a small business owner and says the state of Illinois has one of the most difficult climates to do business in. In the 118th District, everyone is an hour away from another state with a better climate for business. He said those states are all more business friendly than Illinois.

“The business climate might work in a major city, but it does not work on our region,” Smith said.

Smith plans to fight mandates and lock downs going forward.

Aaron Smith announces his candidacy for state representative in the newly created 118th District of the Illinois House on Tuesday evening in Marion.

“Eighteen months ago, the pandemic started. Gov. Pritzker engaged in a major overreach by enacting shut downs. People lost their livelihoods and their savings, and we are no safer from COVID,” Smith said.

Smith plans to fund his campaign with private donations and his own money. He says too much outside funding is pushed into Southern Illinois campaigns. Often, that funding appears to come with strings attached.

“I want to go to Springfield not owning anyone,” he said.

He was introduced at the event by Marion Football Coach Kerry Martin. Smith did his student teaching with Martin. He was hired by the district and taught and coached with Martin.

“I’ve always appreciated his values, perception and intelligence. He was very wise at a young age. He has great clarity on very complex issues,” Martin said.

To find out more about Smith, visit the Aaron Smith for State Representative Facebook page or smith118.com. He said the website is under construction, but he expects it to be fully operational soon.

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