Tillman seeks to reauthorize Voting Rights Act, demilitarize police in 1st Congressional District bid
Jimmy Lee Tillman II fashions himself an “independent Republican” chiefly concerned with the welfare of the people of the 1st Congressional District where he is seeking a seat.
Tillman is challenging longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush in November’s general election in a congressional district that houses the highest percentage of African-American residents of all others and is the district of former President Barack Obama.
On his website, Tillman champions a platform of “traditionally moderate and conservative stances” he’s convinced appeal to an ever-growing range of voters all across the state.
Among his goals are reauthorizing the more than 50-year-old Voting Rights Act, making it easier for low-level drug felons to re-enter society and demilitarizing police.
Tillman also endorses a system that authorizes greater state control over what schools teach and how they are funded, according to his website. He also stands opposed to the insurance mandate of the Affordable Care Act and is sternly pushing for fewer Environmental Protection Agency regulations for district farmers in particular.
Tillman on his website also pointed to his openness and flexibility in his willingness to look into right-to-work zones, and whether they could lead to more jobs and lower corporate taxes across the state.
Tillman founded the Martin Luther King Republicans organization, and is the son of well-known civil rights activist and former Chicago 3rd Ward Alderwoman Dorothy Tillman, his website said.
He wants to push for a two-party municipal election in the city, which he argues has led to widespread “disenfranchisement, disengagement and distrust” of the election process.
Finally, Tillman vows on his website that his time in Springfield will be about providing a voice for homeless youth, families in mental health crisis and previously incarcerated mothers.
The 1st Congressional District in Illinois is based in Cook County, includes much of the South Side of Chicago, and continues southwest to Joliet.
The 71-year-old Rush was first elected in 1992. He serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and the subcommittees of Communications and Technology as well as Energy, where he is a ranking member.
Dorothy Tillman was an alderwoman for more 22 years. Before venturing into politics, she was a civil rights activist who strongly pushed the idea of reparations for slavery.