State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) gathered supporters outside the McDonough County Courthouse on a gray and chilly November morning. Macomb Mayor Mike Inman stood alongside local Republican leaders including County Board Chair Scott Schwerer and Sheriff Rick VanBrooker. The crowd applauded as Hammond delivered the news they came to hear.
“I am here this morning to announce that I am running for re-election for the Illinois House in the 93rd district,” said Hammond.
“It has been some trying times in Springfield, that’s no mystery there, certainly. But we have begun to turn ourselves in the right direction, I believe, and it has not been without a lot of hard work from members on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers.”
Hammond touted her leadership role in the House – she’s Assistant Minority Leader – and said she’s earned the respect of colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the House and the Senate.
After the announcement, Hammond told reporters that passage of a state budget is the biggest accomplishment on behalf of her district in her current term. Hammond was one of 15 House Republicans who broke ranks to override Republican Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of a state budget and the corresponding increase in the Illinois income tax rate from 3.75% to 4.95%.
Hammond said the budget will allow the state to pay down its bills, fund education, and take care of its senior citizens and disabled residents.
She said cuts have been made to state government in recent years and more cuts could be made, though she declined to specify which areas. She also said some parts of state government have been cut too deeply.
“Certainly the Department of Agriculture has had significant cuts. It’s our number one industry in the state of Illinois. The Department of Natural Resources has had significant cuts. I think those are two agencies that we could perhaps restore some of the funding that has been cut – once we are on a level of paying our bills and not having such a deep budget hole,” she said.
Hammond was appointed state representative in December 2010 after Representative Rich Myers (R-Colchester) passed away. Hammond had worked in Myers’ office.
Hammond ran unopposed in 2012 and 2014 before being challenged by Democratic candidate John Curtis of Macomb last year. Hammond won the nearly million dollar contest with 55% of the vote.
Curtis has announced he is running again.
Joshua Griffith of Abingdon has also announced a bid for the office. He plans to oppose Hammond in the Republican primary in March, 2018.