Gary Grasso: Illinois 6th Congressional District Candidate
BURR RIDGE, IL — Ahead of Illinois’ June 28 primary elections, Patch distributed questionnaires to candidates running in contested races in the Democratic and Republican parties, including the nine candidates running for a two-year term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Illinois’ newly remapped 6th Congressional District.
For the Republicans, Gary Grasso, Scott Kasper, Rob Cruz, Catherine A. O’Shea and Keith Pekau are seeking the nod for their party’s nomination in the November midterm elections.
On the Democratic side, two currently seated congress people – Marie Newman and Sean Casten are battling to retain their seat in the House. Charles Hughes, a one-time precinct captain for former U.S. Rep. Bill Lipinski, is the third Democrat on the ticket.
Find out what’s happening in Burr Ridgewith free, real-time updates from Patch.
The remapped IL-06 includes all or sections of the suburban Cook Count communities of Alsip, Chicago Ridge, Palos Heights, Worth, Crestwood, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Tinley Park, Orland Park, Orland Hills, Palos Hills, Palos Heights, Hickory Hills, Justice, and extending into the Chicago neighborhoods of Clearing, Beverly and Mount Greenwood; and in DuPage, Downers Grove, Oak Brook, Oak Brook Terrace, Lisle, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Lombard, Elmhurst Darien, Hinsdale and Willow Springs.
Find out what’s happening in Burr Ridgewith free, real-time updates from Patch.
What county do you live in?
City or town of residence
U.S. Representative, 6th District
Georgetown University, Bachelors Degree in Foreign Service, Fordham University Law, J.D., Johns Hopkins School of International Studies, Bologna, Italy (part of my undergraduate studies)
Wife Janet from Clarendon Hills and Hinsdale, married 44 years, six children, six grandchildren, still have Sunday Dinner regularly
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
Previous public office, appointive or elective
Mayor of Burr Ridge (05-12 & 19-present),
DuPage County Board Dist. #3 (12-18),
DuPage County 9-1-1 Chairman (14-18),
DuPage County Board of Health (99-12), St. John of the Cross School Board and Parish Council,
Western Springs (1980-90s), Thomas Ford Library Board, Western Springs 1990s.
Why are you seeking this office?
To Restore the American Dream – I was the first in my family to earn a college degree, went to law school at night while working, raised six children with my wife and have been a successful lawyer and public servant.
Burr Ridge is debt-free and has the highest municipal bond rating possible. As 9-1-1 Chairman, we consolidated 18 call centers to 3, installed all new technology and saved tax payers $9 million annually in personnel and operation costs. Liberal Dems are destroying the American Dream: crime is rampant, inflation is at a 40-year high, illegal immigrants and drugs are surging across our southern borders, they promote policies to defund police and end bail, and Biden abandoned our military in Afghanistan and undermined our greatness around the world. We need serious leaders to face serious issues in Washington. I have the background and public service accomplishments to do that for the new IL 6th Congressional District, win independents and conservative Dems to defeat the incumbent Democrat in November.
Please complete this statement: The single most pressing issue facing my constituents is ___, and this is what I intend to do about it.
Inflation that is crippling our economy – and I will fight to return us to energy independence, stop give-away programs that encourage workers to stay home, promote investment policies to re-shore and restore our lost manufacturing while working to eliminate supply chain shortages that endanger our security, result in higher prices and discourage people from taking the many available jobs in this country.
What are the major differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
My family background, legal experience, and accomplishments in public office at several levels in DuPage and Cook County. Burr Ridge is located in both counties in the District and I am the only candidate that has lived and governed in both counties. I’ve been a mayor, county board member, chair of 9-1-1, member of the board of health and have served on a parish council and school board.
If you are challenging an incumbent, how would you perform differently if elected?
In the fall I will be running against one of two democrat candidates. Casten and Newman must go. Democrats in Washington have destroyed our economy and the American Dream with it. I would support fiscally conservative policies, promote energy independence, reduce taxes on all, urge the US Attorney to compel the Cook County states attorney to enforce the laws, and support border policies that keep our border secure and drugs out.
What other issues do you intend to address during your campaign?
Job one of government is to protect people and property – that’s not being done now. I have a 6-point proposal for the new IL 6th Congressional District:
1. Defeat Inflation: Create Jobs & Improve our Economy:
(a) Energy Independence in oil & gas is a must to keep us free from foreign dependence and drive gas prices down; and
(b) “Re-shore” manufacturing back to our country through lower corporate taxes and eliminating supply chain issues by getting back to “Made in the USA”.
2. Support Police and Reduce Crime: Support our women and men in blue and demand Cook County prosecutors enforce the laws like the prosecutors do in DuPage County. Fund the Police!
3. Support our Military: “Walk Softly – But Carry A Big Stick.” (Theodore Roosevelt). It starts with having the best military and then supporting them – not abandoning them as the Biden Administration did in Afghanistan, costing loss of life of our brave soldiers, and leaving those that helped us behind.
4. Secure Southern Border: Keep Title 42. Make it harder to be illegal – easier to be legal like if was for our ancestors. And we are at war with the Drug Cartels that are now easily bringing Fentanyl across the border. Let’s fight back and in the process “Defund Sanctuary Cities.”
5. Protect Our Elections: making it easy to vote but hard to cheat. Require IDs to vote and enact chain-of custody laws and standards – and police it – for mail in ballots to be cast and counted.
6. Pledge to Families: no men in women sports –women have worked hard for Title 9 rights that are being mocked. Schools should be run by parents.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
1. Burr Ridge (a) paid-off its bond debt last December and (b) has the highest bond rating possible for a municipality.
2. As 9-1-1 Chair we revamped the 9-1-1 call system consolidating 18 call-centers down to 2 state-of-the-art facilities thereby increasing its abilities to save lives, saving $9 million annually in personnel and operation costs for the tax-payers, and repurposing a vacant county building that adds $225,000 annually in rent to the County coffers.
3. During the pandemic, we balanced the unknowns of the virus in the spring of 2020 with the need to keep stores and restaurants open and keep people employed. I urged my village board to create a tent program for our restaurants to distance seating and have staffs masked. We gave stipends to small businesses to pay rent and salaries. I sent out over 140 mayor’s messages, often seven days a week, giving facts about the virus so residents could make informed decisions. Our tent program was featured on Fox Business News nationally, and by local media. We saved all our restaurants and lost only one business.
4. The Burr Ridge Police Department is CALEA certified – one of only about 50 law enforcement agencies in IL out of about 800 so certified. 5. I am the only candidate that has lived and governed in both counties that make up the new 6th congressional district.
What was your first paying job, and what did you learn from it?
Caddying – listening and giving advice when asked, and then working together to win .
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Family First – from my parents – and I have lived that life.
Is there anything else you would like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
Voters should support a candidate who will restore the American Dream that is being squandered by liberal Dems. I have the strongest background, experience and accomplishments that embody the values of the voters of the new IL 6th District. I will be able to convince independent and conservative Dems to vote for me come November.
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