GOP candidate Brandi McGuire stands firm on rejecting a pension, other items
If elected to represent the 72nd State House District, Republican Brandi McGuire of Milan said she would refuse to take a pension for the position.
“I am going to reject any pension because I don’t believe that legislators should be receiving pensions,” McGuire told Rock Island Today.
Holding public office isn’t a career, McGuire, who calls herself the uncommon candidate, said
“It is a public service and I think we need to go back to what it was intended to be and that is what it was intended to be,” McGuire, who hopes to oust incumbent Rep. Patrick Verschoore (D-Milan) in elections this year, said.
The GOP candidate also said that she would reject any legislator pay increase.
“Every time the budget comes in, the first thing they want to vote on is to give themselves a raise, so if I do that and we are given any kind of pay raise, my raise will go to a charity that is inside the 72nd District,” McGuire said.
Likewise, McGuire would refuse to vote on any bill that she did not fully read or understand.
“I think that happens a lot in Springfield,” she said.
Other big-ticket items she would oppose are additional sales taxes or income taxes at any level of government -- local, state or federal.
“We are taxed enough," McGuire said. "We can’t just keep taxing. We have to fix the problem. My grandpa use to always say if your sewer is backing up you don’t raise the ceiling, you fix the problem."
A lifelong Rock Island County resident, McGuire has been married 21 years, has four children and is the director of her family’s driving school in East Moline.
McGuire also is the founder of Ribbons for Kellsey, a nonprofit in the Quad Cities that supports people with epilepsy. The organization is named for her daughter Kellsey, who has epilepsy. Last August, Sherrod school officials agreed to pay more than $95,500 to the McGuire family to settle a lawsuit alleging the school district did not allow Kellsey to bring her service dog, Jasper, with her to class.
“I took on the Board of Education and fought for about 18 months against them, which is the government I finance, and I won on two counts,” McGuire, whose family used the funds to set up a trust for Kellsey and pay legal fees, said.
She contends the school district created a hostile environment for her child and denied Kellsey an education – part of what fuels her current candidacy.
“Once things start happening to you, you start looking at things differently,” McGuire told Rock Island Today.
She also believes that Illinois ranks last in serving those with special needs and educating them.
“So I think we definitely need a voice in Springfield for those people with disabilities, and I think that is where my niche is," she said. "I think that is definitely one thing that is driving me to run for state representative: to help those people with disabilities and help the people who need a voice.”