Republican Glen Evans has announced his candidacy for Illinois state Senate, District 36.
Current state Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia, was drawn out of the district during the Democrat-controlled state legislature remapping process, leaving the seat open for the 2022 election.
Evans is an ordained minister and a member of Laborers Local 309, where he served as auditor from 2016 to 2018. He said he was inspired to run for state Senate because Democratic policies in Illinois "seem to primarily benefit the Chicagoland area."
"While many in Illinois continue voting robotically Democratic, the Republican party has seen rising support," Evans said. "More and more persons are choosing the Republican policies (and) tax breaks. Motivation (is) rising gradually in Springfield, Illinois."
Evans said his priorities were leadership, job creation, tax breaks and "giving a voice back to those who are not heard" and "putting the power back into the hands of the people who wish to see all succeed.
"We have too long given our leaders too much autonomy (by) not holding them responsible for silencing the voices of people in our own communities," he said. "I want to change that. The American dream is in the heart of every American and in the eyes of every Illinois resident and business."
Evans has previously run for office as a Democrat in about 20 different local races. He has lost every election with the exception of two precinct committeeman races. He has run for Rock Island-Milan school board, Rock Island city council, Rock Island County board, Rock Island Township supervisor and twice for Rock Island County clerk.
Evans most recently challenged State Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, in the 2018 and 2020 elections, losing both times.
He said Tuesday that he changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican five years ago after attending a training with Americans for Prosperity, a Conservative political action group founded by the Koch brothers.
"One of the biggest struggles I had with the Democratic Party was that it's moving further and further away from my values," Evans said. "When I got done with the (AFP) training, I saw there was very little I agreed with in the Democratic party. I ran for years as a Democrat, but I saw that they take choice away from the people.
"It was frustrating when I looked at government as a whole. I am on the ballot because I am dissatisfied with what I see in community I grew up in. I want to make it better.
"It is time for a change for the better; your vote can make that change happen. Your vote is your choice, and you should vote your choice for the candidate who will work for you."
Evans may have a Republican challenger in the June 28 primary election. Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms announced July 12 he is considering running for the 36th District state Senate seat. The general election will be held Nov. 8, 2022.