Democratic Congressional candidate Steve Waterworth is stepping into politics for the first time. (Photo By Paul Morello/WJBC)
By Paul Morello
BLOOMINGTON - A newcomer Democrat is challenging a two-term incumbent in the 18th Congressional District Race.
Steve Waterworth, 64, is a retired U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant who served in Vietnam from 1968-1972. He has been a board member with Head Start and Community Action of Central Illinois for 16 years.
Waterworth is running against U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL), who is looking for his third term in Congress after winning the nomination in 2008, at the age of 27.
Waterworth cites a "lack of leadership" at the congressional level that motivated him to run.
"I just thought, I've got a lot of real-world experience, a lot of empathy for people in the district and I feel obligated and responsible for some of the things that go on, including the gridlock in Washington, D.C.," he said.
Below you'll find where Waterworth stands on some of the issues facing the 18th Congressional District.
Waterworth said the best way to keep jobs in Central Illinois is to make sure manufacturing stays in the United States.
"When we buy something made in China, we're actually hurting ourselves because that job is then gone. The person in America that could be making that item doesn't have a job," he said.
He calls himself a more "macro-economic type of person." He said it's not necessarily the government's role to create jobs.
"But it is a role to create an environment where it's possible for businesses, so people can take a chance," he said.
The Farm Bill
The Farm Bill expired at the end of September, with lawmakers disagreeing over the treatment of food stamps.
"These extremists who want to cut the food stamp program and hold up the farm bill? It's pretty sad. It's pathetic is what it is," Waterworth said.
He said cutting the food stamp program is, "exactly the wrong thing we should be doing." Waterworth wants to increase the food stamp program because of rising food prices.
Waterworth has three daughters. His wife died in a car accident in 1994. See more about Waterworth at his campaign website.