Jefferson announces candidacy

Jefferson announces candidacy

By Shellie Berg

By Shellie Berg

Staff Reporter

Rep. Chuck Jefferson (D-67), hoping to retain his seat in the state Legislature and promote Rockford, announced his candidacy at a fundraiser that attracted 160 people on Wednesday, Aug. 22, at City Plaza, 555 N. Court St.

Jefferson was appointed to the seat after former representative, Doug Scott, won the mayoral race in April. Jefferson believes that for the duration of his term as representative, he’s done “a good job.”

Scott said Jefferson has endured, focusing on where he left off.

“I think I’ve put Rockford first,” Jefferson said. He said he wants to sustain his focus, continuously stating that his platform is Rockford.

Jefferson also said that he’s taken an active role in promoting the expansion of the Greater Rockford Airport. He told our Editor & Publisher Frank Schier, that the Rockford Airport is his “priority.”

He serves on the Illinois House Aviation Committee and was involved in the hearings on the proposed third airport in Peotone near Chicago and the GRA’s future. He’s also written letters to the Illinois Department of Transportation officials in an effort to augment the airport’s uses.

Another issue he has delved into is affordable health insurance for families.

Democrat Lisa Madigan, who is running for Illinois attorney general, visited Rockford on Aug. 22. She attended several engagements to promote her ideas, including Jefferson’s event. She agrees with Jefferson’s plan to diverge the KidCare insurance program, which financially aids low-income children, into the Family Care program. She said that 1.7 million of the state’s 12 million people lack insurance.

Jefferson agreed and said he was disappointed the Senate failed to move legislation for the plan past Senate chambers. He said he will continue making strides for such legislation.

Jefferson was born in Waco, Texas. In 1966, he joined the U.S. Army, completing four years of service. He became a sergeant and was a military policeman, serving in Virginia, Japan and Germany.

Afterward, he moved to Rockford. He married his wife, Geneel, who died last year. He has three sons, Carl Edward, Curtis Lamar and Charles, Jr. He has worked in automobile sales since the 1970s. In the early 1990s, he became active in community organizations. He is the president of New Zion Day Care Center and the Rockford Sportsmen Golf Association, which creates after-school programs for under-privileged youth.

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