2022 candidate profiles: U.S. Senate Illinois


By Northern Star Staff

Tammy Duckworth

(Courtesy Tammy Duckworth)

Race: U.S. Senate Illinois (Incumbent)

Party: Democratic

Experience: U.S. senator of IL since 2017, U.S representative, Assistant secretary of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Director of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Commissioned officer of U.S. Army Reserve


Doctorate – Capella University, human services

Master’s degree – George Washington University, international affairs

Bachelor’s degree – University of Hawaii, political science

Major issues:

“Let’s be perfectly clear: bans on abortion don’t actually stop abortion from happening. It just means women will seek out more dangerous, less safe paths to get the care they need when they need it. No one should have to cross state lines to be treated as an equal citizen – and that’s why Democrats will never let up our work to enshrine full reproductive rights into law,” Duckworth said in a press release.


The Northern Star contacted this candidate requesting an interview and received no reply.

Kathy Salvi

Race: U.S. Senate Illinois

Party: Republican

Experience: Partner at Salvi and Maher since 1987, assistant public defender at Lake County Public Defender’s Office, judicial clerk at Second District Appellate Court


Juris doctor  – Illinois Institute of Technology

Bachelor’s degree – Loyola University Chicago, communications

Main issues:

“I will always stand with the police. This includes giving them the resources they need to do their jobs and to protect our communities. It also means standing for the rule of law and holding those who break the law accountable,” said Salvi via her campaign website.

“As your next Senator, I will fight to secure the border. This includes blocking the flow of drugs, human trafficking, terrorists, and other dangerous criminals. I will also support policies that provide necessary funding for more officers to patrol our border and detect drugs,” said Salvi via her campaign website.

“The best way to grow the economy is through a small, limited government that controls spending, promotes growth, and does not overburden its citizens with taxes and regulations. I support policies that get government out of the way and let small business owners do what they do best—innovate and create new jobs,” said Salvi via her campaign website.


The Northern Star contacted this candidate requesting an interview and received no reply.

Bill Redpath

(Courtesy Bill Redpath)

Race: U.S. Senate Illinois

Party: Libertarian

Experience: Managing director of Summit Ridge Group LLC, former vice president of BIA Advisory Services


Master of Business Administration – University of Chicago

Bachelor’s degree – Indiana University, economics and political science

Major issues:

“I’m opposed to the student loan bailout of the student loan forgiveness. That is just a perverse redistribution of wealth to people who are relatively well,” Redpath said.

“We’ve gotta face up to the entitlement crisis in this nation. I fear right now we’re on a path to some sort of federal debt crisis down the road, and that could very severely hurt the economy,” Redpath said.

“Illinois has really reprehensible ballot access laws. It took 25,000 ballot signatures to get just the statewide slate on the ballot. There are all sorts of rules that make it hard for anyone to challenge the Republicans and Democrats,” Redpath said.

What matters most:

“I think inflation right now is really hurting people. The stock market is down, which is a reflection of rising interest. We need to prioritize incentivizing people to work, save and invest in this economy. The government needs to stop growing the welfare state and giving stuff away for free,” Redpath said.


Interview conducted by Colin Kempsell, news editor.

Connor Vlakancic

Race: U.S. Senate Illinois

Party: National Union Party


Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, California, Districts 15 and 17, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2004

Candidate for U.S. Senate, California, 2006

Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois, Districts 11 and 18, 2012, 2015 and 2018.


Bachelor’s degree – DeVry Institute of Technology, electronics & technology

Major issues:

“I would say to any voter, if it is so important to you that I am one way or another on the abortion issue, and that’s the only thing they care about, don’t vote for me.” Vlakancic said. “I am about Abraham Lincoln saving the union.”

“What I am explaining now is not the specifics, I think, not the specifics of what I am saying, but I am trying to provide an insight into the fact that all of these issues I think about tremendously,” Vlakancic said.

“With the success of my being elected and my ballot initiative, which I call the fail-safe recall ballot, by the presidential election in 2024, then we can have some serious Abraham Lincoln National Union party candidates for U.S. senator and president,” Vlakancic said. “This would be an alternative to a raucous and emotionally depressing election year if there isn’t a change from the typical political rhetoric.”

Interview conducted by Eddie Drinkwine, senior news reporter.