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Citizens' Caucus in DeKalb chooses Rohl to run in the 16th Congressional

A citizens’ convention has chosen a Democratic candidate to run for Congress in the 16th district. But that doesn’t necessarily mean their pick will face Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger this fall.

           AUDIO CLIP #1: Wanda Rohl on why she wants to run for Congress

           AUDIO CLIP #2: Who is Wanda Rohl?

Democrats and independents representing most of the 14 counties that make up the new 16th district gathered Saturday in DeKalb for the citizens’ convention. They selected Wanda Rohl of Ottawa. But the 41-year-old hospice worker still needs to be slated by all of the county Democratic Party chairs in the 16th district. Holly Johnson heads the party in Ogle County. She says Rohl would be a good, well-spoken candidate who would represent liberals well.

Rohl says she’s a Progressive Democrat who would stick to her party’s values if elected: she says she’s “pro-choice, pro-woman, and pro-worker.” She says her experience with social services since she became a paraplegic nine years ago shapes her political views. In the citizens’ caucus, she defeated Robert Giolli, a conservative who says he is a registered Republican.

Democratic party chairs have to act soon: if they choose to slate a candidate, that person would have to gather a minimum of 600 signatures on nominating petitions by June 4th. At this point, Kinzinger is unopposed, after beating long-time incumbent Don Manzullo in the Republican primary.

Susan is an award-winning reporter/writer at her favorite radio station. She's also WNIJ's Perspectives editor, Under Rocks contributor, and local host of All Things Considered.