MOUNT CARROLL – As the results came in last Nov. Nov. 8, Ann Williams started feeling physically ill.
"Where are my American compadres saying, 'No, this isn't right'?" Williams, 51, recalled Monday to a crowd of nine people at the Mount Carroll Community House.
A Democrat and Galena resident, Williams is starting her campaign to run in next November's 89th District Hstate House race. The incumbent is state Rep. Brian Stewart, R–Freeport.
While Williams shared her concerns about the national discourse, she said she's not running because President Donald Trump is a Republican.
"I'm running because I want to make a difference," Williams said, adding that she understands there are a lot of people who don't agree with her, and she respects their right to vote the way they wish.
"The sense of decency seems to have evaporated in centers of government. It hasn't evapoprated out here," Williams said.
She plans to meet with residents across the district this summer, hearing their concerns as she presents her platform. The 89th District covers portions of Carroll, Ogle, Whiteside, and Winnebago counties, and all of Jo Daviess and Stephenson counties.
Williams worked on Hillary Clinton's national disability advisory team during last year's presidential election. Ann's son, Geoffrey, 23, has Down syndrome, and is a professional photographer based in Galena. Williams also does management consulting for organizations which help people with disabilities, and worked in Washington, D.C., for Easter Seals and the Arc of the United States.
The new candidate cited four specific areas she wants to work on if elected – helping to balance the state budget, creating jobs, helping schools have ample resources and retain teachers, and working on a progressive tax plan.
"Cuts will have to be made, but let's look at the budget and see who's getting what," Williams said.
After a short presentation, she answered questions from the crowd. Maurice Grafton of Hanover said the cost of business being prohibitively high is presented as a mantra.
"There's no date being presented," Grafton said.
"I want to do more on it. Right now, I'm listening," Williams said.
Ron Preston of Mount Carroll asked Williams about her position on "dreamers," or children of illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. by their parents.
"I think our immigration laws need to be cleaned up," Williams said. "The only people who need deporting are those who've committed violent or drug-related crimes. It doesn't excuse [that] they've broken the law, but we need to get our paperwork fixed so good people can stay here," Williams said.