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Rockford alderman becomes first Democrat to launch a bid to follow Bustos in 17th District

Democratic Rockford alderman Jonathan Logemann has announced his candidacy for the Illinois 17th Congressional District office.
Jonathan K. Logemann
Democratic Rockford alderman Jonathan Logemann has announced his candidacy for the Illinois 17th Congressional District office.
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Rockford alderman Jonathan Logemann hopes to keep the Illinois 17th Congressional District seat in Democratic control.

Logemann, a public high school teacher and Army National Guard captain who served in Afghanistan, on Wednesday became the first Democrat to officially announce a bid for the office currently held by retiring U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline.

“We are going to focus on the ‘kitchen table’ issues that matter to the folks in our towns and in our communities,” said Logemann. “So when we're talking about all of the different issues that come up during a congressional campaign, my focus and my mission is talking about how these issues affect our own neighbors and our own neighborhoods.”

Logemann said his commitment to public service qualifies him to serve in Congress, and his experience as an alderman, teacher, and guardsman give him “a unique perspective” on what matters to constituents and communities. He said he's bothered by partisan politics delaying progress in Washington.

“I'm personally tired – on the Republican side and the Democratic side – of a lot of this partisan gridlock,” he said. “When I see the gridlock occurring, it pains me because it pains my neighbors, it pains the residents of the state of Illinois and citizens of the United States of America. I think it's important that we have representatives that are focused on results and focused on the mission.”

Last year, Bustos won a fifth term in a narrower-than-expected win over first-time Republican challenger Esther Joy King of East Moline. King declared she would run again in 2022 shortly after Bustos announced in April that she would not seek another term.

“Anybody who wants to can get in the race,” said Logemann, who admitted he’s “heard grumblings” about other Democrats possibly entering the field. “Ultimately, it's going to be up to the voters to decide what type of representatives they want. And I know that for me, I'm going to focus on our campaign and our mission for the 17th district.”

Logemann said he’s a graduate of Bustos’ “Build the Bench” candidate training program and he hopes to follow in her footsteps.

“I think she's done an excellent job of representing our district, and her commitment to constituent service is something I kind of learned from her,” he said. “Many people know that when they call Jon Logemann, they're going to get a phone call back. That constituent service is very important to me, and I don't think I can be beaten on constituent service.”

Logemann said he hopes Congress will approve the Biden administration’s $1 trillion infrastructure package soon.

“We’ve got to remember that this infrastructure plan, some of the dollars that are in it are going to go to help the neighbors in our communities,” he said. “As a local elected leader right now, that's of the utmost importance to me and I think that's the type of special perspective I can bring to the race.”

Contact Joe at jdeacon@ilstu.edu.