Galesburg businessman vows to get on the job if elected to U.S. House
Calling himself the job creator Illinois' 17th Congressional District needs, Galesburg businessman Mark Kleine has entered the GOP race to unseat U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline), according to a press release.
“I have seen what vision and commitment to our local area can do to improve things,” Kleine said in a statement. “We need a congressman who has a record of creating jobs. Someone who is focused on what we can accomplish together. Someone who wants to go to Washington, D.C. and work on both sides of the aisle to move our country forward. I am that person.”
Kleine is an accomplished businessman who grew one John Deere equipment dealership into a six-location force over the course of 19 years. He also founded and advanced a real estate development company and operates the Kleine Family Foundation.
“I have created jobs, I have grown the economy and improved the community by working with other people and knowing how to make deals happen,” Kleine said in his statement. “The time for partisanship is long past us, and we need to elect a United States representative for northwest Illinois who is going to put our district ahead of politics.”
According to the release, Kleine will focus on local job creation and responsible government spending if elected. He has vowed to fight lobbyists and special interests as well as partisan politics, and believes that his independence will allow him to help move beyond the party divisions and career politicians that have harmed the country. Kleine categorizes himself as a businessman and political outsider, which he said would give him a fresh perspective in Washington.
“We should be talking about what we can accomplish together, and we should work hard to promote the impressive people of this region and what they offer to employers,” Kleine said in his statement. “We have great highways, rivers, rail, air. We live at the crossroads of America, and we need to work every day to show employers why they should take advantage of our outstanding workforce, our great geography, and the infrastructure that is already in place. We have some successful manufacturers here. We have some of the best agribusiness opportunities in the world. We have great preschool through post-graduate education. We can build on that, but we have the foundation in place to be an attractive location for any business.”
Klein and his wife Jeanette, four adult children, three daughters-in-law and three grandchildren live in the 17th District. In his release, he touts his track record of service to the community, having promoted health care, education and economic development through the Kleine Family Foundation. He and his wife also recently co-founded the Pediatric Wellness Center in western Illinois.
“We need to get America working again, and it should start right here in northwest Illinois,” Kleine said in his statement. “I am focused on getting that job done, not playing politics, and I’m asking you to send me to Washington, D.C. to make it happen.”