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Hola es su centro para mantenerse informado, compartir ideas y conectarse con recursos. (Hola is your hub to stay informed, share ideas, and connect with resources in northern Illinois.)

Here’s a look at Republican candidates running for Illinois' 11th Congressional District


Republican candidates for Illinois congressional district 11 are vying to represent their party in the general election, in a seat currently held by Democrat Congressman Bill Foster.

The League of Women Voters of Naperville have held several candidates' forums leading up to March 19 including for the Republican primary for the congressional 11th district.

Here’s a look at the candidates and some of the questions and answers they provided during the forum. The league is nonpartisan, and they ask all the candidates the same questions.


Jerry Evans, who owns a music school, out of Wheaton.

O Kent Mercado said he’s a doctor, lawyer, businessman, and humanitarian.

Susan Hathaway-Altman of Geneva, touts her knowledge of the private sector and said she’s a prominent business leader.

Increase in cost of living

To address the increase in cost of living, Mercado proposes lowering taxes.

Also, he said there’s a “need to reduce regulations, anything that increased the cost of living.” You're going to have to eliminate the Biden agenda.”

Evans said his approach is to make the U.S. energy independent “where we reopened the Keystone pipeline, where we more freely allow for government leases on public lands, where we are utilizing American oil and clean natural gas.”

Hathaway-Altman echoed his comments.

“You also need somebody like me that's going to negotiate with companies to come back to the United States, oil companies and tier one suppliers that don't have any confidence in us anymore because our failed promises through this administration for green energy.”

Women’s reproductive rights

All candidates support the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

Evans advocates for pregnancy centers.

Mercado says he’s a constitutional Republican and doesn’t believe the federal government has any role in women’s health.

And Hathaway-Altman says she believes in medical freedom.

Aid to Ukraine, Israel or Palestine

Mercado said the priority ought to be on domestic issues like the border.

“I understand the need for global peace and stability and for some aid for all three — that it's necessary — I get that,” he said. “However, it should be limited funds.”

Hathaway-Altman said she holds an “American First” policy.

“I feel that we need to stop participating in proxy wars,” Hathaway-Altman said. “And we need to stop being involved in intervening because that is not what the Constitution of the United States says. But I will say that I'm 100% in support of standing up for our biggest ally, which is Israel.”

Evans said he’s an ardent supporter of Israel and its approach in the conflict. On Ukraine, he supports aid on certain conditions.

“I actually do support right now not giving any more aid to Ukraine," he said, "until we secure our southern border."

Gun violence

The candidates were also asked about their ideas, if any, for legislation to reduce gun violence in the country.

Hathaway-Altman said, “I would not promote any additional gun laws at all. And I guess that's my answer.”

Mercado says he would take a different approach.

“I don't support generic federal, federal laws to ban whether it's semi-automatic weapons," Mercado said, "but I would support special training and maybe some licensing for, for some of them, maybe increasing the age to 21. I certainly support universal background checks.”

Evans said, “I believe we can move in the right direction with a commitment to the Second Amendment, as well as making sure we're also pursuing better addressing of the issue of mental health.”

Candidates were also asked to comment on other issues such as the health of our democracy.

Other Republican candidates

In other congressional races in northern Illinois, Republican candidates James T. “Jim” Marter and Charlie Kim are vying to be on the November ballot running against incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Lauren Underwood in the 14th District.

And in the 17th District, Joe McGraw and Scott Crowl are running to unseat Congressman Eric Sorensen.

US. Representative Darren LaHood is running unopposed for the Republican nomination in the 16th District.

A Chicago native, Maria earned a Master's Degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield . Maria is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America. RFA is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. It is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit journalism organization. Un residente nativo de Chicago, Maria se graduó de University of Illinois Springfield con una licenciatura superior en periodismo de gobierno.