James Hickey, president of the Orland Fire Protection District, is planning to announce his candidacy for United States Congress by the end of August.
Earlier this week, Hickey told SouthtownStar columnist Phil Kadner that he intends to run for the 11th Congressional District as a Democrat.
If so, he will likely challenge Bill Foster, who current represents the 14th District but has expressed interest in running for the newly redrawn 11th District, which spans as far north as Aurora and south to Joliet.
Hickey does not live in the 11th District but told Kadner he would move there if elected. Orland Park and Orland Hills will soon be part of the 3rd Congressional District, currently represented by Dan Lipinski.
Kadner noted that although Adam Kinzinger, a Republican, is the incumbent 11th District congressman, the remap of the district so drastically alters its boundaries that no one believes he would run for re-election in it.
Hickey’s seat on the Orland Fire board does not end until 2015, yet the next congressional election is fall 2012. He told Kadner that, if elected, he would make interest-free student loans and national internet access a top priority for the sake of the economy.
“I would do the same thing in Congress that I’m doing in the fire district and that’s going over the budget to get rid of waste,” Hickey reportedly said. “In the federal budget there are a lot of programs that could be cut or trimmed and you could find the money for programs like these that actually help people and stimulate the economy.”
The soon-to-be candidate held a fundraiser at Sam McGuire’s Pub on July 28, the results of which had not been posted on the Illinois State Board of Elections website as of Thursday afternoon.