District 79 Republican candidate Parkhurst hopes to use platform to represent voiceless
Nearly two months after announcing that she is running for the state House seat in District 79, Kankakee attorney Lindsay Parkhurst recently discussed why her platform embraces becoming the voice for the voiceless.
"I spent my whole career fighting for people who don't have a voice -- helping people defend their rights, making sure that the government doesn't overstep its constitutional right," she told the Kankakee Times. "I want to make sure that people in our community get a fair shake. I can be that voice; I can fight for what our community needs."
While Parkhurst is a proud Illinois resident, the state's slow economic recovery and high unemployment rate are what particularly compelled her to attempt to tackle Illinois' challenges firsthand.
"Not having a balanced budget, career politicians continuing to just spend without reform, our state being the worst in the nation with the slowest economic recovery, the highest unemployment in the Midwest -- these are the issues," she said. "It was time that we did not keep the status quo anymore, and we do something about it."
Parkhurst has been practicing law for nearly 30 years and believes her career will play a key role in informing her new role as a state representative if she wins.
"Being a state representative is a continuation of what I do: being in a courtroom," she said. "I'm surrounded with the law, I read the legislation, I'll be able to understand the legislation, and hopefully I'll be able to draft legislation that will be able to bring jobs and economic opportunities in to our community and our state. So I think that will be very helpful to me when I'm elected."
If Parkhurst is successful in beating Democratic rival Kate Cloonen, the 79th District's incumbent representative since 2013, she hopes to make a visible line in the sand between Cloonen's tenure and her own.
"My first vote down there is fighting against career politicians," Parkhurst said. "Cloonen voted twice for Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, and once she votes for him it is all over with -- she becomes part of the status quo, business as usual. I'm going to encourage a conservative, responsible legislature, which is something that we haven't had in a long time, and I'm going to be independent in terms of voting for what's best for my constituents."
Parkhurst claims to have no personal agenda to get in the way of her work.
"I want what is right for our community and our state, and I believe that the Democrats are not coming to the table," she said. "They just want the status quo, they are not willing to reform, they are not willing to balance the budget, and that's the main difference between me and Cloonen."
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