Oakland man to seek Republican nod for state House seat

Oakland man to seek Republican nod for state House seat

OAKLAND — An Oakland man Tuesday said he will seek the Republican nomination in the 110th House District in a possible challenge to state Rep. Reggie Phillips, R-Charleston.

Chris Miller, a 63-year-old farmer, business owner, part-time football coach and father of seven, said he has never run for public office before.

"I've been complaining for a long time," Miller said. "Some people asked me to consider running, and I told them that we would pray about it and if the doors were swinging wide open, we will, and if not, we won't. It seems like doors are opening and we're just walking through them."

Phillips, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday, has not announced whether he is running for re-election in 2018, although he created a firestorm in his conservative district by joining with Democrats in July to pass a state budget and enact a 32 percent increase in Illinois' income tax.

Miller said those tax-increase and budget votes helped prompt his decision.

"I've been complaining about the state of the state in general and the reach of the government," he said. "It seems to me that it has become the enemy of the people rather than their friend because of the oppressive taxes. It's just more taxes and more taxes and more taxes. We don't have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem. I'm a farmer, and typically, one of the first things I do if things get tight is I spend less money."

Miller said state Rep. Brad Halbrook, R-Shelbyville, helped persuade him to seek a seat in the House.

"We've joked off and on about it for a long time. And he mentioned something to me about whether I'd seriously consider this because there is a need for principled conservatives in office," Miller said. "When I'm convinced I'm right, I'm pretty unmovable.

"I don't know that I would say I'm disappointed in Reggie Philips. I'm not running against Reggie Phillips. I'm running for the people of our district."

Miller grows corn, soybeans, wheat and organic corn on his fourth-generation family farm in northern Coles County. He also tends about 100 head of purebred Angus, he said.

The Oakland native who earned a degree in education from Eureka College is a father of seven and grandfather of 14 and has coached high school football at Oakland.

He said that he founded an independent, overnight father-and-son camp in Oakland to help fathers mentor their sons.

"Twenty-three years ago, I founded Father Son Camp to instill our values, the Christian faith, and a heart for service in families throughout Illinois," Miller said. "When I look at state government, I don't see values or principles. I see power-hungry politicians who aren't concerned about our future. We need values and principles in Springfield, not politicians.

"I'm going to Springfield to ensure our values of service, handing down a state better to our children, and fiscal responsibility are reflected in the government."

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Sidney61877 wrote on September 12, 2017 at 10:09 pm

Since Chris Miller is friends with Brad Holbrook, then Reggie Phillips better watch out.  The Bruce Rauner funded Liberty PAC will be slinging so much mud at Phillips, it won't even be funny.  Just look at what happened in the Republican primary when Holbrook ran against Jim Acklin.  Has Chris Miller already hired Mark Sheldon to be his campaign manager?  

Country Fried Truth wrote on September 13, 2017 at 12:09 pm

Just what this state needs. Another incompetent and unqualified person trying to play politician. He'll be an embarrassment to Illinois Republicans if elected. Do a bit of digging and this guy's ideals are more suited for the 19th century than the 21st.