Chris Balkema announced his candidacy for Congress in the 11th Congressional District on Tuesday, a post currently held by Democratic Congressman Bill Foster.
“America’s financial situation is deteriorating quickly. Just last Friday, the jobs report showed that the last time this much of America's labor force had given up on finding good-paying jobs was in 1978 during the Carter years. Small business owners and companies are unwilling to take risks and hire more people in our current economic climate that is riddled with uncertainty,” said Balkema, a manager at Caterpillar for the past 20 years and a Grundy County Board Member.
“That is why I'm setting my career aside to go work for the people of District 11, if the voters will give me the opportunity. There is a lack of courage in Washington to get the job done – I will change that,” said Balkema. “We need to roll up our sleeves across party lines and get to work.”
Balkema is a fiscally conservative voice on the Grundy County Board. He has demonstrated his leadership by persuading the county to eliminate lavish health insurance and travel stipends for part-time board members and to reduce the number of board committees. He partnered with other board members to improve Grundy’s transparency score by over 70% – allowing residents to see much more of the county’s data online. Prior to his service on the county board, Chris served on the Minooka Community High School Board District 111.
“I know how to create jobs and I know how to streamline bureaucracy. I will lead us past the politics and bring people together to deliver the solutions needed to fire up our nation’s economic engine. We need a real recovery that allows the talented people of the 11th District to put their skills to work,” said Balkema. “It is a matter of courage. Courage to bring the sides together and develop a 2 page bill with a laser focus on a solution instead of a 2,000 page bill that goes nowhere.”
As a business leader in the manufacturing sector, Balkema has first-hand knowledge of the problems facing job creators in America and he wants to drive solutions. His primary motivation for running for office is to get America working again and to bring good-paying jobs back to the 11th District.
“We will accomplish this by lowering the cost of doing business inAmerica. With a 38% corporate tax rate and a litany of burdensome government regulations, this country is now the most expensive place on the planet to operate a business. We must replace Obamacare with actual healthcare reform that encourages competition in the marketplace and across state lines while lowering healthcare costs for families, seniors and businesses,” he said. “We have so much untapped potential and creativity in this country just waiting to be unleashed – if we just get the government out of the way.”
“We have an opportunity to see a jobs explosion, in the next few years, that will dwarf the manufacturing boom that America experienced over 50 years ago – but only if we move forward and implement the solutions necessary. I owe it to my country to lead and deliver these results,” said Balkema.
Chris has been married to his wife Jill for 15 years. They live in Channahon with their sons Luke (10) and Max (8) as well as Bingo, the family’s Portuguese Water Dog. The family actively attends The Village Christian Church in Minooka. Chris is a member of the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce and the Minooka Lions Club.