Small business owner to run for state representative of 103rd District

Robert Meister, a small business owner in Champaign, will announce his candidacy for state representative in the 103rd District on Tuesday.

Meister said he hopes to take on several pressing issues facing the state, especially issues facing the University.

Meister said he wants to allocate a percentage of the revenue from other University programs, such as football, to the tuition costs at the University in hopes that it will lower rising costs. He said if the University were to implement a program like this, it might reduce the school’s dependency on the state for money.

“One of the biggest (issues) everyone keeps asking themselves is how it’s (the University) gonna keep going successfully if tuition keeps spiking out of control,” Meister said.

Meister said another major component driving his campaign is that he wants to provide aid to help recent college graduates find work.

“Being a young entrepreneur that has only been out of school for five years, I know what it’s like to try, have a dream and accomplish it and I feel like there’s way too many roadblocks in the way,” Meister said.

In addition, Meister said Illinois needs stricter constraints on politicians and that they need to be held more accountable for their work.

Meister, who owns and operates the Champaign restaurant “Minneci’s Ristorante”: after buying it in 2008, said the state of the economy and its relationship to small businesses in Champaign-Urbana is another concern for him. He said he would like to promote hiring veterans and minorities to these small businesses as one potential solution.

In terms of his political party, he said he affiliates himself with the Republican party in terms of fiscal matters, but socially he differs from the mainstream views of the Republican platform.

“Even as a conservative Republican, I am very into the pride and gay community. I see them more as being in the same boat as we are now,” Meister said. “Right now we are all in the same financial boat and the first thing we’ve got to do is come together as people and figure out the best way out of it.”

Meister will officially announce his candidacy for the 103rd District on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Second Street and Springfield Avenue. The “position”: is currently held by Democrat Naomi Jakobsson, who has been in office since 2003.