Illinois congressional representative Mike Bost opens second campaign office in Carbondale


Campaign signs are posted along Route 13 in Carbondale as Illinois’ Election Day grows nearer, on Oct. 17, 2018. (Carson VanBuskirk | @carsonvanbDE)

By Claire Cowley, Staff Reporter

Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) opened a second office location across the street from Carbondale City Hall.

George O’Connor, a Bost campaign spokesman, said Bost opened the second field office in Carbondale because of geographical purposes.

“It’s beneficial to have one spot for [volunteers] to meet,” O’Connor said. “[We can] continue campaigning from [Illinois Ave], rather than being dispersed across a pretty large geographic area.”


O’Connor said Bost has maintained an office in O’Fallon, Illinois.

O’Connor said Bost’s campaign team can have volunteers out walking and knocking on doors if there isn’t anyone in the offices.

“We try to have [campaign volunteers] in there, but sometimes it’s all hands on deck,” O’Connor said.

Bost said he’s constantly looking for feedback on local issues.

“My primary focus as an elected official is helping ensure that southern Illinoisans are going back to work,” Bost said.

O’Connor said southern residents would agree that this region is not strictly a Republican area.

Bost also said his top policy is to promote economic growth, job creation and even though more jobs won’t fix everything, jobs tend to help.


“I’m running for U.S. Congress because I want a better, brighter and more secure future for my children and grandchildren,” Bost said. “I have and will continue to bring southern Illinois values to Washington, not the other way around.”

Bost also said he prides himself in constantly working across the aisle to get things done and every single bill he has introduced to Congress has bipartisan support.

“Every single bill,” Bost said. “And several of those bills have been signed into law.”

Brendan Kelly (D-St. Louis, Missouri), the candidate opposing Bost, said his campaign has an office in every single Illinois county, including Carbondale.

“We have offices in Belleville, and Carterville,” Kelly said.

One of the reasons Kelly felt compelled to run was because he feels this country is very divided, Kelly said.

“We need people to show some courage, try to break that divide and fix the problems that southern Illinois needs to be focused on,” Kelly said.

Kelly also said the cost of everything is rising, while workers wages are not.

“[Southern Illinoisans are also] very concerned about SIUC […] with enrollment dropping […] it’s a very important component to the [regions] economy,” Kelly said.

Kelly said out of all congressional districts represented in the house, the 12th district is rated 19th most influential by young voters in Illinois.

“Because of SIU and other college campuses,” Kelly said. “So, young people can have a huge impact on the future of this country during this election.”

Kelly also said this one of the most important electoral races in the country.

William Recktenwald, a SIU senior journalism lecturer, said this election season is important.

“Not just for [state] representative in Congress, but it’s one of the ones that has been targeted for victory […] if the Democrats are going to be able to take hold of the house of representatives,” Recktenwald said.

Recktenwald said he works for the state as a university teacher and students pay a lot of money to the state for their education.

“So it’s important that the leaders of the state be the best possible people,” Recktenwald said.

Recktenwald said Illinois is one of the key possible swing states and districts.

“It’s important for students to vote unless you want to be going through life being told what to do by old people,” Recktenwald said.

Recktenwald said the idea that people can walk around with their device in their hand, looking at social media and not take the time to go vote is scary.

“In the last presidential election, 88 million Americans did not vote,” Recktenwald said. “Those were people of age to vote, but they didn’t […] that’s embarrassing.”

Recktenwald also said some people would say unintelligent voters, shouldn’t vote.

“That wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do […] to give up your right to vote,” Recktenwald said.

Staff reporter Claire Cowley can be reached at

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