Schock picks up Farm Bureau endorsement
State Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria, has been endorsed by the political arm of the Illinois Farm Bureau in his run for the U.S. House from the 18th Congressional District.
Rich Ramsey, a Sangamon County Farm Bureau board member, said at a news conference outside the county office in Springfield Wednesday that Schock:
-- Has supported cuts in the inheritance tax;
-- Backs expanding trade;
-- Wants more domestic energy production, including renewable fuels; and
-- Backs river improvements to help with transportation of agricultural commodities.
“He has a great interest in being on the (House) ag committee,” Ramsey said. “He’s familiar with the industry.”
“Without a doubt, this is one of the most important groups for a candidate to receive their support from, given the fact that agriculture is the No. 1 industry in the 18th Congressional District,” Schock said.
Schock did say he differs some from Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who has at times opposed federal subsidies for ethanol production.
Schock said he has made his “strong support for ethanol” very clear this election season, and “it’s an area that I disagree with my party’s nominee for president.
He said he’s pushed for increasing ethanol from the current 10 percent to 15 percent or 20 percent in the regular gasoline mix.
“I’m a strong supporter of ethanol,” Schock said. “I don’t think it’s the only solution, but I think it’s a part of an energy package.”
Wendy Riemann, Midwest communications director for McCain, said that McCain “believes that the government must be an ally but not an arbiter in the progress of alternative energy sources. He voted against the current patchwork of tax credits for renewable power because they were temporary, and often the result of who had the best lobbyist instead of who had the best ideas. Senator McCain wants to reform this effort so that it is fair, rational and permanent, letting the market decide which ideas can move us toward clean and renewable energy.”
Schock’s Democratic opponent, Colleen Callahan of Kickapoo, “has been on the forefront of supporting ethanol as an alternative to oil and supports an all-out federal effort to find viable, clean alternative-energy sources that would include cellulosic ethanol, wind-generated and solar power sources,” her campaign Web site says.
Callahan, a longtime farm broadcaster, said the Farm Bureau generally supports Republicans, but she has her own support through a “Callahan ag coalition,” and “I’ll put my confidence in them.”
Also in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, is Green Party candidate Sheldon Schafer of Peoria.
Bernard Schoenburg can be reached at (217) 788-1540.