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Oswego Man Announces Candidacy for U.S. Senate

Oct 13, 2015 08:22PM ● By Steven Jack

James Marter

An Oswego man who found himself amid the election controversy that dominated the village’s last municipal election is now running for the United States Senate.

Republican James Marter announced late last month he is mounting a primary campaign to oust  incumbent Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, who has held the office since 2010. Marter said he’s taking on his fellow Republican because it’s time to return conservative values to the Senate seat. 

“Senator Kirk is not following the Republican Party platform,” Marter said this week. “We need someone who actually represents the values and not just lists them on their website.”

In his campaign announcement, Marter pointed to Kirk’s recent votes on defunding Planned Parenthood, his “F” rating from the National Rifle Association and opposition to balanced federal budgets.

Earlier this month a spokesman for the Kirk campaign disputed Marter’s claims. 

"Republican, independent and reform-minded voters across the state strongly support Senator Kirk's leadership on demanding a balanced budget, holding the line on taxes, working to keep jobs in Illinois and fighting the dangerous Iran deal that threatens our national security," Spokesman Kevin Artl said in a statement.

Marter called his campaign a grassroots operation that is getting a lot of positive reaction from Republicans all across the state as he attempts to collect the 5,000 petition signatures he’ll need to get on the March 15 primary ballot. 

“I’m not Donald Trump, and I can’t quit my day job,” Marter said. “… The first thing I’ve been telling people is that I have no name, no money and no experience. … I’m out here trying to change all that. The first thing I have to do is prove that I’m a viable candidate.”

While this is Marter’s first run for a statewide office, he did run unsuccessfully as a write-in candidate for Oswego Village Board in April.  Marter said it was the legal battle over which village candidates would eventually appear on the ballot that in part led him to make his current bid.

“If what happened in Oswego wouldn’t have happened, I wouldn't be where I’m at today.” 

On his campaign website Marter said he plans to run on repealing Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood, stopping illegal immigration, fixing the tax code and upholding the Second Amendment. 

Though some of the events he’s attended in the past two weeks throughout the state have been organized by the Tea Party, Marter said he would not consider himself a Tea Party member.

“I share a lot of things in common with the Tea Party, but I am a Republican,” he said. 

Marter is the owner of Marter Enterprises, LLC, a professional management and software consulting practice.  He is a longtime resident of Oswego, and has been married for 30 years. He and his wife have four grown children.  Marter is also a member of St. Anne's Church.