By DuPage Policy Journal

Illinois 8th Congressional candidate Mark Rice recently posted a photo of a bumper sticker reading “Crook County,” expressing frustration with the alleged corruption in state politics. Rice suggested that the sticker symbolizes a populace tired of dishonesty and misconduct from elected officials.

“Spotted out on Suburban Cook County, Barrington… this picture is just an example of how people in this state are so fed up with elected officials lying and talking out of both sides of their mouth, brokering back alley deals to enrich themselves and destroying our trust and faith we put in our elected officials, who violated their oath to do right by the people whom elected them,” Rice said on Facebook.

“Illinois gov corruption cost Illinoisans $550 million in lost economic activity every year.”

“A study published by the University of Illinois Chicago in 2022 ranked Illinois as the second most corrupt state in the nation, with 4 out of the last 11 governors serving time in prison.”

“We can list some of the most egregious Illinois public corruption on everyone’s radar here in recent years… but every year this list sadly expands.”

In recent times, Illinois has been struggling with political corruption. The state faced a notable surge in corruption and misconduct cases in 2022, with several politicians drawing attention for their alleged misdeeds, according to Illinois Policy. Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan was indicted on federal racketeering charges, accused of running a criminal enterprise that traded influence for job opportunities. State Sen. Emil Jones III faced bribery charges in connection with a federal investigation into red-light cameras. Other figures like State Sen. Michael Hastings, former State Sen. Thomas Cullerton, former State Rep. Luis Arroyo, and Chicago Ald. Ed Burke were also implicated in various corruption cases. This led to the state witnessing a record number of ethics complaints in 2022, contributing to Illinois being ranked the second-most corrupt state in the nation.

Rice’s campaign appears poised to tackle these issues head-on. His campaign underscores the need for change—focusing on transparency, economic prosperity, and responsive representation—and brings a wealth of experience as an executive in the energy sector. For over 35 years residing in Illinois (a Texas native), he has served as CEO of Energy CX for the past 15 years, where he’s built a reputation in providing energy solutions nationwide, employing a team of 70 professionals. His campaign priorities for the 8th Congressional District include economic growth, fiscal discipline, tax relief, immigration reform and border security. Beyond his business endeavors, Rice is known for his extensive philanthropic work and supports various faith-based, urban and cultural institutions.

His dedication extends to institutions such as the Jewish Community Center of Chicago, Camp Apache and Project Interchange.

Rice is married and is a father of four, according to his website.

Unseating incumbent U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) is Rice’s main goal as he vies for the GOP nomination. In his bid for the GOP nomination, he aims to unseat U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), who currently represents the 8th Congressional District covering northern Cook County, northern DuPage County and northeast Kane County.