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Larry Thomas campaigns at Lynnie Ques

Political events keep Lansing voters informed

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (February 21, 2019) – Larry Thomas Jr. hosted his first campaign event as an Independent candidate for Village Trustee on February 21 at Lynnie Ques in Lansing. The three-hour event was largely informal as the 10-year Lansing resident focused primarily on personal interactions with attendees. Approximately 45 people filtered in and out throughout the evening, most of whom were Lansing residents eager to support Thomas, learn more about him, or both.

Challenged by three candidates of the Village Voice Party—Lansing’s sole political party—Thomas does not have the same system of support in place as his competition, but is confident that his network of connections and his unique outlook on village issues will influence voters to vote for him.

Diverse ideas

“I would love to bring more diversity to [the Village Board of Trustees],” said Thomas during a short speech. “We need more innovative ideas; we need things to not be so stagnant in Lansing.” Thomas is 20 years younger than most current Board members.

Lansing resident Gloria Biondi is also excited by the racial diversity Thomas would bring to the Village Board, where six white trustees currently serve. “I like the idea that we have a black candidate because we have a racially mixed community, and I’ve always been an activist in these areas,” she explained.

Enhancing Lansing

Thomas has emphasized during his campaign that he doesn’t want to change Lansing so much as “enhance” it, saying, “My whole campaign, everything I want to do is all about making Lansing better. I don’t want to change Lansing—I don’t want to do anything different in Lansing. All I want is for Lansing to become better.”

Reaching youth

His message struck a chord with six-year Lansing resident Chester Kidd, who came to the event to meet Thomas for the first time and is excited by the candidate’s experience working with younger residents. Kidd said, “Quite often, we have a lot of young people who are overlooked or dismissed…and I think we should give young people every chance possible to improve not only their lives but [older residents’] lives.”

Independent Village Board Trustee candidate Larry Thomas Jr. chats with supporters during his February 21 event at Lynnie Ques. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Cara Aljoe, who has lived in Lansing for a year and worked with Thomas on a podcast, is optimistic about his future on the Village Board: “It’s amazing to see him go from just talking about it and doing the work to now actually being out there and wanting to lead with the city. …I think Larry will really be about [the residents].”

“I work for you”

Thomas concluded his speech, in part, with the following: “I would love if all of us could come out on April 2nd and do the most important thing that you can do—which is vote. Anything that you all feel I need to know so that I can make your life better and make Lansing better—you guys let me know. I work for you.”

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Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.