OAKLAND -- A local farmer is seeking to throw his hat into the ring for the 110th District state representative seat.

Chris Miller announced Tuesday his intentions to run for the seat in the next election, according to a press release. Miller was prompted to run after state lawmakers pushed forward legislation that would end the two-year-long budget impasse with a controversial tax hike.

“The politicians in Springfield are destroying our state and passing policies that harm our families,” Miller said. “They are hiking taxes to protect government insiders and special interest groups instead of those that elect them. They aren’t respecting us, our livelihoods, or our communities,” Miller said in the release.

The press release criticized those who voted for the legislation, calling out “(State House Speaker) Mike Madigan, Chicago Democrats, and weak-kneed Republicans.”

State Rep. Reggie Phillips, R-Charleston, defended his decision supporting the legislation previously, saying he believed in his Republican colleagues’ reforms but enough was enough. He said at the time that letting the state continue without a budget did not seem like a viable option.   

Miller owns the Miller Brothers Farms, where he and his family raise corn, soybeans, oats, wheat, hay and Angus cattle, according to the Miller Brothers Farms website. Miller is also known for founding and running the Father Son Camp, an annual camping event geared to “strengthen the bond between fathers and sons through outdoor adventures and ignite a passion for serving Jesus Christ through inspiring ministry,” according to the camp website.

As part of Miller’s platform, he said he would fight for term limits for state lawmakers, make it easier to do business in Illinois through fewer regulations and create more competitive worker’s compensation reform. His campaign website notes his criticism of the funding Chicago schools receive in comparison to other downstate schools.

Miller resides in Oakland, where he was born and raised, with his wife of 37 years, Mary. Together, they have seven children and 14 grandchildren, according to his campaign website.

The site notes that Miller graduated from Oakland High School. He then attended Eureka College and obtained a bachelor of science degree in education. Later, the Oakland man attended Lake Land College and received an associate’s degree in agriculture.

Miller will potentially be joining Jeremy Yost, chief executive officer of Yost Enterprises and Yost Management Services, Inc., in the race for the 110th seat. Yost announced his intentions to run in July.

Incumbent Phillips has yet to make an announcement. Phillips said at a meeting in July that he would announce his intentions to run or not for a third term by the end of August but has yet to do so.

When running for his second and current term, Phillips expressed that he'd hold to a two-term limit for himself. Phillips acted more open to the idea of a third term this spring, noting that if he was needed he might stay.

Phillips’ social media pages and campaign website have been taken offline, a relatively recent development.

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Jarad Jarmon is a reporter for the JG-TC. He covers the city of Charleston, Eastern Illinois University, Mattoon schools and the Regional Office of Education.

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