Caulkins cautiously optimistic
Even as he acknowledges that his party’s plight has become more difficult, state Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) remains as committed to his party as he’s ever been.
“Election night results made things more difficult for Republicans, and hopefully leaders will take a good hard look at what happened and try to find a way to win seats back along with the support of more of the people,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun. “But with Illinois being in the shape that it is, we can’t afford to stand around and just lick our wounds.”
Caulkins was strong in his own run, recording nearly 70 percent of the vote in his takedown of Jen McMillin, a Democrat, in the 101st District in this month’s general election. But he says that to "save" Illinois will take a lot more.
“I’m focused on the same financial problems Illinois faces that I ran on,” he said. “We’ve got to address our budgeting and spending issues. This state is at a tipping point that demands that we figure all those things out.”
Caulkins said he’s looking forward to meeting and speaking with governor-elect J.B. Pritzker and hopes that interactions could be fruitful.
“He’s talked about some of his priorities being a balanced budget, being fair in the upcoming map redistricting and making college across the state more affordable for students," he said. "If he’s serious, those are all things we can work together on right away and get down for Illinois.”
Overall, Caulkins said, he’s keeping an open mind and committed to working with anyone who’s willing to put the needs of the people above everything else.
“That’s what it’s going to take,” he said. “Our focus has to be on making life better for the people of this state and being willing to do whatever that requires.”
The 101st House District spans parts of Champaign, DeWitt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.