Belleville – A Tea Party Republican state representative who gets national attention for his fist-pounding diatribes on the Illinois House floor will now try to take his act to Congress by taking on U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart in the November election.
Enyart is completing his first term in Congress after winning election two years ago in the Illinois 12th Congressional District and was unopposed in last month’s Democratic primary.
Now he faces Mike Bost, a state representative from Murphysboro, who may be best known for YouTube videos of his angry broadsides in the House.
WORK FOR UNION MEMBERS
He served in the U.S. Air Force and then became leader of the Illinois Army National Guard at the rank of major general. Two years ago, he defeated his Republican opponent with 52 percent of the vote compared to 43 percent.
Bost was a firefighter until being elected to the House 115th District in 1995. He served in the Marines and has supported pro-gun legislation.
FUNDED BY THE KOCH BROS.
Sam Barrett of Enyart’s campaign staff issued a statement to supporters, calling Bost a “Tea Party radical” whose campaign will be funded by the billionaire Koch brothers.
INFLUX OF CASH
Metro-East union leaders are keeping a close eye on the contest because of the potential for a huge inflow of Republican money.
“We are concerned – they could buy up all the air time in St. Louis,” said Totsie Bailey, president of the Southwestern Illinois Building & Construction Trades Council. “He (Bost) is in line with the Tea Party people. That’s very detrimental to working people.”
Enyart, on the other hand, is respected in military circles at a time when Scott Air Force Base could be in jeopardy, Bailey noted, and Enyart has been working with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to protect the base.
“The building trades are 1,000 percent behind Bill,” Bailey said. “We’re going to work our tails off for him.”