EFFINGHAM — U.S. Senate candidate Doug Truax said there were a couple of events that led him to seek the Republican nomination for the Senate seat currently held by Democrat Dick Durbin.
First, there was the statement Durbin made on the Senate floor in 2005 in which he compared U.S. troops to Nazis. Then, there was passage of a health care reform bill on Christmas Eve 2009 that Truax said has led to unemployment and economic ruin for many Illinoisans.
"I love this country and I feel like professional politicians like Dick Durbin are ruining it," Truax said. "I would like to change that.
"I think my background contrasts favorably to Durbin's."
Truax was in Effingham Saturday for the annual Lincoln Day celebration.
Truax, 43, grew up in southern New Mexico before receiving an appointment to the United States Military Academy in 1988. After graduating from West Point in 1992, he spent six years as a field artillery officer in the Army before beginning a business career that eventually landed him in the Chicago suburbs.
"I think my background contrasts favorably to Durbin's," he said.
Currently the founder and CEO of Veritas Risk Services, Truax manages employee benefit plans — with a particular interest in health insurance. From a business perspective, he takes a dim view of the Affordable Care Act — commonly known as Obamacare. But he takes an even dimmer view of the policies he said Durbin has advocated during more than 30 years in Washington.
"He is continuing to ruin the country," Truax said. "Since he was last elected in 2008, 342,000 more Illinoisans are living in poverty with 376,000 more out of work.
"My ideas to get the economy going again are the exact opposite of his."
Truax said reducing the size of the federal government is one thing that can stimulate private sector growth.