Williamson might seek 103rd nomination
URBANA — Kristin Williamson, the vice chair of the Champaign County Republican Party, says she is looking into running for the House seat in the district that includes Champaign-Urbana.
State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, announced last week that she would not run for a seventh term in November 2014.
Champaign City Council member Will Kyles said last week that he was considering running for the Republican nomination for the open seat. Williamson said Sunday she may join him.
"I am taking a look at the 103rd," she said. "I've spent the last few days talking with our local elected officials and our precinct committeemen to find out if they would think that I would be the best fit, not only to run and win in that seat but also to be an effective legislator. And the support has been overwhelming."
She said she hoped to make a decison soon, in order to start passing nominating petitions.
"I want to make sure that our local party runs the absolute best candidate in that seat. We have a real opportunity. During this process my main goal was to make sure our party thought I was the best candidate. I have a little bit different profile than the candidates who have run in the 103rd previously, and I wanted to make sure the party thought that that was the profile that could connect with voters."
Williamson, 32, is a single mother and the director of public relations at Benefits Planning Consultants in Champaign, whose CEO and president is Habeeb Habeeb, the chairman of the local Republican Party.
"I think she would be a terrific candidate," said Habeeb. "She has a lot of friends on both sides of the aisle and I would be very excited for her to be our candidate."
The Effingham native has a degree in political science from the University of Illinois. Her 9-year-old son, Evan, attends Yankee Ridge School in Urbana.
"I think I understand and can relate to the families who live in this district," she said. "When we were starting out on our own I know what it is like to have to go to sdchool, work a job, be active in my community and at the end of the day go home and figure out if I'll be able to pay the electric bill or the water bill. And I think that that puts me in a position to be able to look at all the different families in the district and understand how a piece of legislation would impact them."
If elected, she said she would hope to continue to work part-time, in addition to her legislative duties.
"I never want to have to cast a vote because I'm worried about having a paycheck," she said. "And if I can maintain a job that will allow me to provide great constituent service and still pursue my passions in communications, I'm on board."