Republican Candidates for 31st Senate District Q&A

Lennie Jarratt, Larry Leafblad and Michael White go on the record to share their priorities.

Lennie Jarratt

1) Although you are chairman of the Lake County Tea Party, the only public office you’ve held is precinct committeeman. Why not start by running for a lower office?

Many of the problems faced by families at the local level can only be fixed by Springfield. This office provides the opportunity to do just that.

2) What experience do you possess that makes you qualified for this position?

I already have a very good understanding of the property tax and assessment process which will aid me in helping fix the system to end the unsustainable growth in property taxes that are driving people and small business. I have a track record of holding local officials accountable for their actions. I will do the same in Springfield.

3) What do you feel are the top 5 biggest issues facing the district? Briefly, what are some of your ideas to tackle these issues?

My top 5 issues would all revolve around high taxes. The 66% personal and 45% corporate income tax increases last year by Springfield are a driving force in the lack of jobs, the driving of businesses out of state and foreclosures of homes. In September 1 in 295 homes in Lake County received foreclosure filings. 

Property taxes are raised every year without ceasing. Families and small businesses budgets are being squeezed tighter and tighter, yet government keeps growing and takes more and more of the family’s money.

High gasoline taxes again are just one more tax the family and businesses have to absorb into their budget.  The higher the price, the more money the government takes. There is no real incentive for Springfield to want low gas prices.

The first step is to control the spending in Springfield. They have had plenty of revenue, but have chosen to spend it poorly. They have handed out special deals to friends for lucrative pensions. As has been reported, some of these pensions went to people who worked only 1 day.  This takes money away from the hard working families that have worked their entire career and earned their pension.

Springfield must realize their “revenue” is “our” money and not their credit line to unlimited funds.  Springfield’s focus must return to supporting the families if Illinois and just self-serving itself.

4) Any comments on the job Suzi Schmidt did? Would you do anything differently?

It’s a sad situation she finds her herself in after so many years of service to Lake County. I would not stay in office 30 years and I would always respect my position as an honor to the people who elected me.

5) Any comments on opponent Larry Leafblad?  

Larry is a very nice guy and always has interesting stories from the past about his two decades of service on the Lake County Board.

6) How would you describe your campaign strategy/plans?

I will be meeting with the people from throughout the district to discuss their concerns and frustrations with Springfield. I will be earning the peoples vote instead of expecting it.

7) Do you have a Web site? 



Larry Leafblad

1) What do you feel are the top 5 biggest issues facing the district? 

A broken Property Tax Law that needs to be repealed and replaced.

Borrowing, causing more debt.

Budgeting money we don’t have.

Egregious pensions.

Income tax and Corporate taxes that are killing jobs and causing families and businesses to move out of state. Workers’ Compensation must be re-written.

2) Briefly, what are some of your ideas to tackle these issues?

Cut, cut and cut some more (just like my family is doing). We need to get spending and borrowing under control first. Then, we must reduce the size of governmental bodies in Illinois by combining jurisdictions and eliminating duplication of services. 

3) Any comments on the job Suzi Schmidt did?

I worked diligently to help elect Suzi get elected, and as a Senator, she did the best she could in the short time she was there. 

4) Any comments on opponent Lennie Jarratt?

He is a bright, principled family man and has a heart of gold.

5) How would you describe your campaign strategy/plans?

We have 94 people involved in just a few weeks and they know we will win the primary election on March 20...We are hard at work assembling contemporary communication systems, campaign managers, headquarters and volunteers.

6) Will you have a campaign Web site? 

Yes, www.Larry4Senate.com is up but is under construction. Our Twitter account is open, as is the Facebook account. 

7) Any additional comments?

I am driven by my core beliefs: Constitutional, Transparent Government and Conservative values.


Michael White

1) Why are you running for this office?

Hard working citizens, the foundation of Illinois, are dedicated and compassionate people who care about their state. They expect a government that protects individual liberties, serves all people equally and develops a budget that is free from political influence. I am committed to bringing these fundamental principles back to government with integrity, intelligence and innovation.

2) Have you previously held or sought public office?

In 2010, I ran an independent campaign for Governor of Illinois.

3) What experience do you possess that makes you qualified for this position?

I am retired military with approximately 22 combined years of service in the Illinois Army National Guard and the United States Air Force. In the military, I honed my leadership skills and still live the creed: Duty, Honor, Country. My wife and son understand what “service before self” requires as they supported my many years of military service.

My real life experiences in education as a substitute teacher, in healthcare as a business manager and as an entrepreneur developed my acute understanding of the challenges we face today in Illinois.

4) What do you feel are the top 5 biggest issues facing the district?

State budget

Small business and job growth

Property tax reform


Mental health issues facing our military

5) Do you have a Web site?


Nightcrawler November 16, 2011 at 04:51 PM
I suspect each candidate filled out a questionnaire, and the Patch reprinted it verbatim. Thus Lennie's corrections to the grammatical mistakes in his original. Also the brevity of both Leafblad's and White's responses.
Brad Faxton November 16, 2011 at 05:41 PM
I'm also betting that due to the positioning on the page, the HUGE pict, very staged and thought out answers by him that he initiated the 'watch dog news article'. Hardly was a 'reporter' saying, "Gee, I wonder what is going on these days - let me take a neutral stance and purely investigate". Just my $0.02.
Sully November 16, 2011 at 05:42 PM
I just want to compliment Lennie for buying a suit and combing his hair!
C-Dub November 16, 2011 at 07:09 PM
Switched to decaf...and the replies were a bit abrupt.
Brad Faxton November 16, 2011 at 08:00 PM
+1 'Like'


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