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Wozniak to announce for District 71 seat

Republican plans to challenge Democratic Rep. Smiddy

ROCK ISLAND – A political campaign impacting Whiteside County will officially begin next week.

Jim Wozniak, 34, an assistant state’s attorney in the Felony Division of the Rock Island County State’s Attorney’s Office, will announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Illinois’ District 71 seat on Wednesday.

That seat is held by first-term Rep. Mike Smiddy, D-Hillsdale.

“[When] I ran for Rock Island County state’s attorney, I met a lot of people, I talked about a lot of issues that were even above what the state’s attorney would handle,” Wozniak said. “I unfortunately didn’t win that race.

“In the following months, I was thinking about what to do and had people mention to me running for the 71st [seat] and had been mulling it around myself.”

Wozniak lost the state’s attorney’s race to John McGehee in the 2012 general election, 61.46 percent to 38.54 percent.

Wozniak, a native of Davenport, Iowa, moved to East Moline in 2011 after returning from a volunteer trip to India, he said. He previously was a city councilor in North Liberty, Iowa, and ran his own law firm based in East Moline.

“I have experience in an elected position [and] dealing with budgets,” Wozniak said. “I was a city councilman in North Liberty, Iowa, for 4 years. We kept the city growing. We kept taxes low or down.”

During two upcoming campaign events, Wozniak will discuss, among other topics, tax and pension reform, government transparency, Second Amendment rights, and Illinois’ infrastructure, according to a statement.

Wozniak will formally announce his campaign at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Rock Island County GOP headquarters, 1721 Fifth Ave., Suite 100, in Moline.

Smiddy defeated incumbent Richard Morthland, R-Cordova, 52.05 percent to 47.95 percent, in the 2012 general election.

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