Wauconda High School teacher says he's running for U.S. Senate
A Wauconda High School social studies teacher says he's running for U.S. Senate next year as an independent.
Jim Brown of Lake Zurich has never run for elected office before, but he says he's launching a campaign because people are angry with both political parties and Congress.
"I think this is the perfect time to do it," he said.
Brown, 56, said he came to the decision before the 2014 Senate race and started telling friends about the idea months later. He says some encouraged him to run for a lower office like mayor first, but he decided to start pursuing the U.S. Senate anyway.
"It's not as easy as I thought, first of all," he said.
To run as an independent, Brown will have to gather more petition signatures than Republicans or Democrats to get on the ballot, but he said it allows him to avoid a tough primary campaign against better-known candidates.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, is running for re-election to a second term. Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates and Andrea Zopp of Chicago are poised to make a run on the other side.
Brown says he's always been interested in politics.
The viewpoints on issues on Brown's website lean left of center. On guns, Brown said people have a right to bear arms but he favors a ban on assault weapons.
He praised the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow same-sex marriage and said the government shouldn't be involved in abortion decisions.
Brown started teaching about 12 years ago after 20 years as a businessman. He won't be coaching basketball at Wauconda in the coming school year because of the campaign, but he says he'll stay at his job.
"I'll still be teaching," he said.