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Southland Republican Jumps Into 36th District Race

Bob Shelstrom, of Palos Park, will challenge incumbent State Rep. Kelly Burke in the 36th District.

Voters looking to cast a ballot for a Republican in the in March's primary election were met with a blank space . That will change in November as a GOP candidate has stepped forward to challenge the incumbent Democrat. 

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Bob Shelstrom, an engineer from Palos Park, was nominated by the Republican committeemen from Palos and Worth townships to carry the GOP banner in the general. Shelstrom stepped forward after noticing no Republican candidates on the ballot when he went to vote. 

Shelstrom is a frequent and vocal critic of the spending practices of , and the Palos Fire Protection District

In a statement announcing his candidacy, Shelstrom pledged to serve no more than two terms if he is elected. He voiced opposition to the extension of the income tax increase, shifting pension liabilities to school district and municipalities and criticized the current Medicare system.

"Bob believes that the Medicaid program in Illinois should focus on the truly needy, and not be extended to those who have access to health insurance through employment or other means," the statement read. 

The 36th District seat is currently held by Democrat in 2010. She defeated her Republican challenger while garnering 71 percent of the vote.

The district includes portions of Palos Park, Palos Hills, Hickory Hills, Oak Lawn, Evergreen Park, Chicago Ridge and slivers of Chicago.   

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