GOP candidates focus on post-grad Ill. job climate

Republican candidates running for the party’s seat in the State Senate election for the 52nd district, John Bambenek and Alan Nudo, came to speak to the registered student organization College Republicans on Tuesday. Bambenek and Nudo concentrated on their reasons for running, highlighting issues of unemployment among young people.

Bambenek said the unemployment rate in Illinois is the highest from ages 18 to 25. He added that because of this, many young people leave the state to find jobs elsewhere.

Nudo also said he wants to fix the state employment situation as well because so many graduates leave the state in search of jobs.

“If we don’t get this thing corrected, you may not have a job in this state,” Nudo said.

Bambenek, president and chief forensic examiner for local information technology security firm Bambenek Consulting, said the values of the Republican party will help Illinois fare better economically. He added that his main goal is to turn around the state’s economic situation.

“This is my home, my family’s home, and I believe Illinois is worth fighting for,” Bambenek said.

One Republican principle he believes in is that the state shouldn’t spend more money and should spend to a manageable level, he said.

Secondly, he wants to lower regulations and taxation towards businesses, Bambenek said. He added that this was the cause for business leaving the state.

Lastly, Bambenek said he wants to end corruption in government.

“Our state coddles the corrupt and sends taxpayers the bill,” he said.

Nudo, Champaign County Board member, District 3, said when he started his own business in Rantoul, taking such risks in business ventures was easier. Like Bambenek, Nudo said businesses face too many regulations, such as tax increases and permits.

“What I want to bring back to legislature in Springfield is that entrepreneurial spirit,” Nudo said. “The only way you do that is to have some combination of people that understand business and that understand government.”

Nudo said he’s fiscally conservative while being socially moderate, believing in a safety net to lower the financial standards where people can receive government benefits.

Nudo has been accused by Bambenek of receiving major backing from Republican leaders in Springfield.

“I have enough modesty to run my own campaign,” Nudo said in response to such accusations. “There’s nobody helping me from the state.”

Bambenek said he found out that Nudo was receiving support from firsthand accounts and Senate Republican leadership acting on Nudo’s behalf, whether Nudo is aware of it or not.

On the other hand, Nudo said he has no idea where Bambenek is getting these types of allegations from and there’s no truth to any support he supposedly received from Republican legislators.

“I’m disappointed that there are some Republicans in the state of Illinois who are more interested in carrying down other Republicans than fighting to turn our state around,” Bambenek said.

Jordan Richter, sophomore in LAS, said so far she finds both of the candidates to be qualified.

“I liked how each of them seemed sincere and that although neither of them has a ton of experience in public office, they do have experience elsewhere,” Richter said.