Updated 11:55 a.m. | A Bloomington-Normal real estate broker has thrown his hat in the ring once again in the race to unseat Republican state Rep. Dan Brady in 2020.
Challenger David Paul Blumenshine lost against Brady in the 2018 Republican primary by 50 percentage points.
Blumenshine is calling out the Republican legislator for supporting various tax increases. He said Illinois’ residents are “taxed to death.”
“We exist on the backs of the taxpayers of Illinois, both through real estate taxes, income tax, and sales tax,” Blumenshine told WGLT.
He said Brady’s 21 yes votes to increase taxes this session show the 10-term incumbent doesn’t take his constituency into account.
“We believe that Rep. Brady has shown that being in office is more important than truly representing the people of the 105th,” he said.
Instead of spending more and taxing more, Blumenshine said the state legislature needs to focus on limiting taxes, reforming state pensions, writing a balanced budget, and Medicaid.
In an interview with WGLT Brady responded, saying Blumenshine isn’t looking at the tax increases Republican legislators were able to negotiate out of the state budget.
“Real estate transfer tax, 34 million; bottled water tax, 19 million; streamlining tax, 110 million; rental car tax, 8 million; car sharing tax, 3 million; rideshare tax, 200 million; beer, liquor and wine tax, 120 million; cable satellite tax, 110 million,” Brady rattled. “We were able to negotiate all those additional taxes out of that (budget) bill. And you don’t get things done like that by just simply voting no and not trying to sit down and compromise and look at things.”
Brady previously told WGLT he supported the state budget because of detailed allocations to support Illinois State University. That includes $70 million for operations, $89 million to renovate Milner Library, and $62 million to rehab the College of Fine Arts complex.
Brady also recently explained his support for the state gas tax while touring a construction site on Interstate 74. He said the increased motor fuel tax goes to support much needed infrastructure repairs and increases the number of available construction jobs in the state.
A statement from the Blumenshine campaign states, “Blumenshine will run on a platform of preserving life, liberty, and promoting growth. As a supporter of term limits, he has declared a maximum of eight years for his tenure as state representative.”
Brady has served in the Illinois House since 2001. His 105th District includes parts of Bloomington-Normal.
The statement goes on to say that Blumenshine would decline any legislator pension and health benefits, and pledge to donate legislative pay increases to public school teachers.
In addition to being a real estate agent, Blumenshine works with young adults with special needs in the Unit 5 school district.
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