ROCK FALLS – Retired Secret Service agent Bill Albracht has been around politics for decades.
He said he never thought he’d end up being a politician, though.
Albracht, 63, of Moline, also a Vietnam veteran, is running for the 36th District seat now held by state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline. It includes Sterling and Rock Falls.
Albracht decided to run after working for U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling’s campaign. Albracht worked on capturing the veteran vote.
The fiscally conservative Republican said Wednesday in a visit to Rock Falls that he is focusing on cutting state government spending and creating jobs.
He met with residents at a sparsely attended event at the Rock Falls Public Library, organized by the Sauk Valley Voter Information Committee, a group that says its aim is to cultivate informed citizens.
Earlier, Albracht visited the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and spent the day meeting people, he said.
“This is my first real visit to the Sterling-Rock Falls area,” he said. “I really liked it. We had a couple hours in between, and we drove all over here.”
He said it was a “beautiful community” with “well-maintained parks and friendly people.”
Amanda Norris is a member of the committee and president of the Sauk Valley Tea Party.
“I had heard good things about him and wanted to see what he was all about, so I decided to help out and introduce folks to him here,” Norris said.
After meeting Albracht, Norris said he is a candidate she would support.
“I’m really impressed with the fact that he seems like someone that is always going to say what he means and mean what he says and then follow through,” she said.
In an interview Monday, Albracht advocated cutting nonessential programs and minimizing corporate taxes and regulations.
“No one has ever taxed their way into prosperity,” he said.
Albracht wants to make sure there are means to prevent undocumented immigrants from using Medicaid and food stamps. The state could eliminate these and other problems, such as voter fraud, by requiring people to show government-issued, photo IDs to use these programs and to vote.
The Illinois Department of Human Services does require SNAP applicants to show a government-issued ID.
“I can’t understand why anyone would be against this,” Albracht said. “Who doesn’t have a government-issued photo ID?”
He would be in favor of creating a program to help those who can’t afford IDs get them.
“Any time you cut down on the fraud is a plus for the budget,” he said.
Also present to show his support Wednesday was Bruce Bush, a retired Rock Island deputy sheriff from Dahinda who has known Albracht for 25 years.
“Bill’s a great man. I think he’ll make a great senator, and I just wanted to come here and support him,” he said.
Bush said the biggest challenge Albracht faces is a lack of name recognition.
Albracht said he plans to meet as many people as possible to get his “conservative, fiscal responsibility” message out.
Party affiliation: Republican
Resides in: Moline
Office seeking: State senator for the 36th District
Length of term: 2 years
Employment: Retired Secret Service agent and manager of Ford Motor Co.’s Executive Security Operations
Education: Associate in business and economics, Black Hawk College, 1973; bachelor’s in business and sociology, Augustana College, 1975
Family: Married to Mary Albracht, 56. They have five children: Nick Albracht, 29, Jenny Erickson, 39, Clint Albracht, 34, Curt McKay, 31, and Rob McKay, 36