Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

September 25, 2009

Candidate says he hasn’t forgotten work ethic

Adam Andrzejewski lives in the Chicago area now, but he said he’s never forgotten the work ethic developed as a teen-age farm hand.

“I learned the values of family and hard work while growing up in rural Illinois,” said Andrzejewski (pronounced Ann-gee-sheh-ski). “I learned how to work until the end of the task instead of the end of the day.”

Andrzejewski, 40, is one of six declared candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. Though he’s never run for political office, Andrzejewski said that lack of experience actually makes him a better candidate in the wake of repeated scandals that have tarnished the governor’s office in recent years.

“This is a leadership election, not an experience election,” he said. “All of my opponents are part of the professional political class.

“But political experience in this election cycle means political baggage,” Andrzejewski added. “I am free of that baggage.”

Andrzejewski was in Effingham Thursday to attend the Family Life Pregnancy Care Center anniversary dinner.

As a resident of Hinsdale — a Chicago suburb — what Andrzejewski is not free of is the perception that he would be just another metropolitan politician who would neglect downstate interests.

Andrzejewski said an election strategy that neglected downstate would be foolish.

“Downstate will make the call in the Republican primary,” he said. “The other candidates wil split the vote north of Interstate 80.

“But I’m a product of rural Illinois with rural values,” he said.

Andrzejewski grew up the son of teachers in the Kankakee County community of Herscher, though his mother belongs to a family that has farmed in Kane County since 1848. The candidate said he partially paid his way through Northern Illinois University by detasseling corn, walking beans and baling hay.

He’s a 1992 graduate of Northern with a business degree. In 1997, he and younger brother Abram founded Homepages Directories, who prepared telephone books for rural communities.

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