Second-term Naperville City Council member Grant Wehrli has officially announced his intention to fill Darlene Senger’s shoes in the Illinois House.
In a 2 1/2-minute video posted on his website, www.grant4illinois.com, the lifelong Naperville resident runs down his motivations for going after the seat representing state District 41 when Senger’s current term expires next year.
Senger, who also has served on the City Council, kicked off her own campaign last week, aiming to replace 11th District U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, a Democrat from Naperville, in Washington after the 2014 midterm elections.
Citing the local school system, the health care services provided at Edward Hospital and the city’s thriving business core, Wehrli says Naperville “truly is an outstanding place to live,” and vows to advocate intently for the city if voters send him to Springfield on Nov. 4, 2014. If necessary, Wehrli will be a contender in the Republican primary scheduled March 18.
Wehrli joined the City Council in January 2006, after he was appointed to replace David Fiore when Fiore moved to Colorado. His video message touts some of the accomplishments made by the council since he was sworn in, saying he and his elected colleagues have kept government from growing, and reduced budgets and taxes.
“Right now the biggest threat to Naperville is Springfield,” he says, asserting that the General Assembly needs a fresh start. “They’re quite honestly handcuffed by their past actions. Maybe they know the right answer, but they just can’t get there, because of promises that they’ve made.”
The video relates a conversation Wehrli had with his dad, in which the elder Wehrli asked the new state candidate what he will do about the city’s challenges.
“My quickest answer was, ‘Well, I’m going to move to Colorado,’” he quipped.
A press release issued early Monday morning elaborated on his aims.
“Naperville residents expect their government to be fair, affordable and transparent while providing a high value in services. The state should be doing the same for the good of Illinois residents,” Wehrli said.
Along with his council duties, Wehrli currently serves on the Naperville Development Partnership, the Naperville Riverwalk Commission, the Naper Settlement Museum board and the Naperville Central Redhawk Hockey Association. He lives on the city’s near-south side with his wife Sharon and their sons Jake, 15, and Luke, 9.