The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

Newcomer for 2010 elections steps onto scene

The 2010 elections are just over a year away, but local candidates have already begun to visit with future voters. A reporter from The Daily Illini sat down with Don Tracy, candidate for lieutenant governor of Illinois, Wednesday in the Illini Union to discuss Tracy’s bid for office in the gubernatorial primaries next February.

DI: You do not have a huge career in politics, what made you want to become involved?

Tracy: You could say I am not a career politician; though I did run for office before. I’ve been a business lawyer for 39 years. I’ve had an interest in politics since 1960 when I made my first political stump speech in the living room of our house. I am the oldest of 12 children, and I think at that time it would have been eight kids. But I didn’t run for office until I was 52 because I wanted to establish my career and get in a position and raise my family where I’m not susceptible to the temptations of office But the reason why it [politics] attracts me is because I think that politics is one of the most important fields of the human endeavor. I’m certainly at a point in my career where I have an excellent clientele; I was having the best years ever, but I decided to do this. So this is not about money, but it’s about trying to make it [Illinois] a better state.

DI: Where are you originally from?

T: I was born in a place called Urbana, Illinois [Laugh]. My parents met here at the University and were married.

DI: As we are on the campus right now, on your platform, do you have any ideas on what you are going to do for the students at the University of Illinois?

T: I don’t have anything specific for the University of Illinois except that I believe very strongly in education and particularly college education. Today you can say a college degree is the new high school [diploma] It’s more important than ever to have a college degree.

DI: When you did run for [Illinois] state senate in 2002, you ran as a Democrat. What, during the past seven years made you change parties?

T: It was partly that experience [the 2002 race]. I’m pro-life, pro-gun, pro-family, pro-tort reform and pro both union and non-union jobs. I wasn’t going to change my views, so I had to change my party.

DI: What do you see as your roll if elected lieutenant governor of Illinois?

T: If I’m elected lieutenant governor then I would want to use by bringing jobs back to Illinois but making Illinois less anti-employer, by making [political] contributions more transparent and by highlighting and focusing on wasteful state spending.

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