Park Ridge businesswoman takes aim at House seat in 55th District
A Park Ridge entrepreneur is hoping to take on incumbent Rep. Marty Moylan (D-Des Plaines) in Illinois' 55th House District while can still afford to live in Illinois.
A Republican, Marilyn Smolenski has never run for office but said she knew it was time because her taxes have climbed out of control.
“One of the reasons I decided to run is that I feel like we’re being priced out of our neighborhood,” Smolenski told Chicago City Wire. “I’m really hoping that being a political outsider will show people that I’m in it for the right reasons. I’m a neighbor, I’m a small-business owner and I hold the same values as they do,” Smolenski said.
Smolenski said that in talking with voters, she has heard many concerns about rising taxes and plummeting home values. She said many people have told her they are considering leaving Illinois.
“It used to be when I first moved here people would say how they were going to leave Cook County, so now it’s not just the county, it’s the state,” Smolenski said. “It’s just because they can’t afford to live here any more.”
Smolenski said Moylan hasn’t addressed the needs of the voters.
“We have someone like Marty Moylan, who’s been in office for six years, and the only thing he’s done is voted to increase our state income tax 32 percent, but yet he didn’t fight to cut any spending or property taxes,” Smolenski said. “So, we need to look at keeping a balance between those things. We really need to focus on reform.”
Voters have also expressed displeasure with longtime House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago), she said.
“Let’s just say, Marty Moylan is his biggest cheerleader; he has literally stood outside of meetings and held cheers,” Smolenski said. “People are looking for a change in leadership. I’m ready to step up and be that person.”
Smolenski owns Nickel and Lace, a company that sells concealed-carry holster garments for women.
“It’s just really geared toward women’s self-defense and self-awareness and situational awareness,” Smolenski said.