Democrat Corinne Pierog is challenging incumbent Republican State Sen. Jim Oberweis for the seat in the 25th Illinois Senate District. The race is a rematch of the 2012 election, when Oberweis beat Pierog by a wide margin to take the seat in what is considered a heavily Republican district.
Pierog’s 2012 run was her first try at state office. She has served more than seven years on the St. Charles School District 303 Board. She has also served on the boards of the St. Charles Housing Commission, United Way of Kane County, Illinois Business Enterprise Council and the National Dance Heritage Collation.
Pierog is founder and current President of Sustainable Leadership Solutions, a consulting company. She received a B.A. and M.A. from San Francisco State University in Arts Administration and an M.B.A. in Leadership-Nonprofit Management from Chicago’s Roosevelt University.
Pierog has come out in favor of raising the minimum wage, ensuring equitable educational opportunities for all children, and balancing business growth and fiscal responsibility with social and environmental stewardship. She has also endorsed term limits for elected officials.
Jim Oberweis is finishing his first term as State Senator. He beat Pierog in 2012 to take over the seat previously held by Chris Lauzen. Oberweis had run unsuccessfully for the U. S. Senate in 2002 and 2004, Illinois Governor in 2006, and the 14th Illinois Congressional District in 2008 in both a special and the general election. Oberweis ran again for the U.S. Senate in 2014, losing to incumbent Dick Durbin.
Oberweis is owner of Oberweis Dairy and several other enterprises, and an investment manager. He has a B.A. from the University of Illinois and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. After several years as a teacher, Oberweis went into investment management, eventually establishing his own company. He remains involved in the field. He also took over the family business, Oberweis Dairy, in 1986.
Oberweis has run as a conservative, pro-life, pro-business candidate who favors lowering or eliminating certain taxes, cutting government spending, and workmen’s compensation and tort reform, and term limits for elected officials (he has said this would be his last election). In the past, he also has taken a strong stand against illegal immigration. While in the State Senate, he co-sponsored several bills, most notably one raising the speed limit on state interstates.
Additional endorsements for Pierog, including from state/local chapters of AFSCME and the Sierra Club, are listed on her campaign website.
- This report was compiled by WNIJ’s Guy Stephens