QUINCY — A Quincy native and Navy veteran has launched her campaign for the Illinois House in the 94th District.
Democrat Angel Smith is challenging state Rep. Randy Frese, R-Paloma, in the Nov. 3 general election. Both ran unopposed in the March 17 primary election.
A Navy veteran, Smith is a secretary at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy and a member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1787.
"I am running to give a greater voice to workers, veterans, and union members in the 94th District and across Illinois," Smith said in a release. "The impact of COVID-19 restrictions on our economy has shown that many of our most essential workers are also the most vulnerable. A crisis response that sees the rich getting richer and workers left behind is neither a humane nor a just response that serves the greater good. We must join together to provide a strong safety net for everyone."
Smith served in the Navy for more than 12 years and achieved the rank of petty officer first class.
She worked as a Russian linguist and held a top secret security clearance while being stationed at intelligence collections facilities in Hawaii and England.
Upon her honorable discharge, she returned to Quincy, where she earned a master's degree in counseling at Quincy University.
"Having worked in a variety of minimum-wage jobs in hospitality, retail and printing, I understand the day-to-day economic struggles working people face," Smith said. "I'm campaigning to increase the political and economic power of workers, and to create and maintain a robust culture of transparency and accountability in all government functions."
A two-term Adams County circuit clerk, Frese was first elected to the 94th District seat in 2014. He was re-elected in 2016, and in 2018, he defeated Democratic candidate Rich Cramsey, receiving nearly 72% of the vote.