U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) won re-election in Illinois' 6th Congressional District Tuesday over Leslie Coolidge after getting 30,864 more votes than the his challenger, with all precincts reporting.
Roskam said he plans to be a part of turning the economy around, and his work on the House Ways and Means Committee will be a platform to do so.
"Our tax code is a disaster, and most Americans recognize that it’s a disaster," he said Tuesday at Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton. "And most Americans are very open to trying to reform the code."
He said the House will begin to put together a "very substantive" tax reform effort focused on making the U.S. tax code the most competitive in the world.
"If we do that we’ll be in a much better footing to compete with 95 percent of the world’s consumers outside of the U.S. and it’s an incredibly ripe opportunity."
Coolidge, a retired CPA from Barrington who focused on economic issues, Social Security and Medicare protection and fairer tax policies, said Tuesday she is thankful to her supporters for giving "so much energy" to her campaign.
"An awful lot of people put in an awful lot of hours and I really appreciate that," she said.
Roskam, the fourth-ranking Republican leader in the House as chief deputy whip, said his top priorities if re-elected would be to get the economy back on track and people back to work. As Congressman, he has served on the House Committee on Ways and Means, the chief tax-writing committee in the House of Representatives, according to its website.
He was endorsed by the Chicago Tribune as "one of the more influential Republicans in Illinois and on Capitol Hill," with a focus on fundamental economic issues and the stature he developed as a member of the Ways and Means Committee and chief deputy whip.
The Daily Herald wrote Roskam has established himself as a "leader with influence," and is a player in "how Washington fixes economic challenges facing the country."
Roskam last week responded to the October Jobs Report that showed the unemployment rate in the United States rose to 7.9 percent.
"Today's jobs report underscores how fragile our so-called economic recovery has been under President Obama, and when you examine the policies of the past four years there is little wonder as to why," he said in a statement. "Our economy cannot grow under a wave of crushing new regulations, including a massive healthcare law that fails to lower costs and could cause millions of Americans to lose their current coverage.
"Americans cannot afford the next four years to look like the last four," he said.
Roskam, 51, graduated from the University of Illinois and spent his early career in the office of his mentor, Congressman Henry Hyde. He earned his J.D. from Kent College of Law and ran a nonprofit scholarship program for disadvantaged youths. He served as a state representative for Chicago's western suburbs from 1992-1998 and as a state senator senator from 2000-2006.
The Illinois 6th Congressional District spans as far north as Cary and Lake Zurich south to Downers Grove.
He said in a statement that Republicans Tuesday regained control of the House of Representatives, speaking to the concern voters share for the direction of the country.
"Time and again, I have heard from 6th District residents who fear that we are leaving our children and grandchildren a diminished future, saddled with over $16 trillion in debt, a stagnant economy and increased uncertainty," he said.
“But I am an optimist, and the American people have always overcome the challenges before us. So for the next two years, we will continue to work turn the economy around as quickly as possible, to create jobs for the 23 million Americans currently unemployed, underemployed or who have simply given up looking for work. We will work to live within our means, reform the tax code, prevent the fiscal cliff, and create a better future for the next generation.”
Roskam currently lives in Wheaton with his wife, Elizabeth and four children, Gracey, Frankie, Steve and A.J.