United Methodist state office holders and candidates

10/29/2010

 Election logo(Editor's note: Candidates and office holders who identifed themselves as United Methodists were contacted by email at their campaign office, asking for additional information. The following information has been gleaned from a variety of sources. Those candidates which are not quoted did not respond to the request for additional information. The following is presented for informational use and should not be considered an endorsement of any candidate or party).

Sheldon SchaeferSheldon Schafer, Green Party candidate for the 18th U.S. House seat currently held by Rep. Aaron Shock. Schafer, who hails from Peoria, is an astronomy instructor at Bradley University.
 
“My upbringing was around social justice and I have seen a lot of similarities between the social justice positions of the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church,” he said. “When I began looking for a political outlet that was strong on social justice, I found that the Green Party’s 10 Key Values and Four Pillars were in many ways, the secular exposition of the social justice platform of The United Methodist Church.”
 
Schafer does not presently attend a United Methodist Church but attends church with his wife, who is Catholic.
 
During his formative years, Schafer attended North Broadway UMC in Columbus, Ohio – the church from which Bishop Lance Webb was serving when elected to the episcopacy in 1964. Webb served tenures in Illinois from 1964 to 1976 and in Iowa from 1976 to 1984.
 
During that time, Schafer was active in weekly Sunday School, MYF and was active in the Wesley Foundation at Ohio State University. Following graduation, he joined the Peace Corps where he met his future wife of more than 40 years.
 
Dale RisingerState Sen. Dale Risinger (R-Peoria) was born in Odin, located in Marion County and serves in the Illinois Senate as a Senator from the 37th Senatorial District. He was first elected in 2002 after spending 40 years working as a civil engineer. .
 
David WinterRep. David F. “Dave” Winters (R-Shirland) serves in the Illinois House from the 68th District, located along the Wisconsin border in Winnebago County in the Northern Illinois Conference. A self-employed farmer, Winters served six years on the Winnebago County Board (1986-1992) before being elected to the Illinois House in 1994. 
 
Rep. Donald L. Moffitt (R-Gilson) serves in the Illinois House from the 74th District, which includes Knox, Stark, and parts of Bureau and Henry counties. First elected to the Illinois House in 1992, Moffitt served in a variety of municipal and county offices from 1971 to his election to the legislature.
Moffitt is a member of the Knoxville UMC where he has held several local church offices and has taught Sunday School.
 
“To a large extent, my political views are that the role of government is to help people, to help them have a better quality of life, to protect them and help them to achieve their fullest potential,” Moffitt said. “This view, this perspective has been shaped by scripture, sermons, Sunday School lessons, fellow Christians, but also by the teachings of John Wesley, who said, ‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the times you can to all the people you can as long as you can.’”
 
Donald MoffittMoffitt also said he was impressed by the early Methodist circuit rider Peter Cartwright. Noting that Cartwright was first a rival and later a very strong supporter of Lincoln, “I find it very exciting to think that a Methodist minister from Illinois probably helped to shape Lincoln into the great leader that he was and to become the greatest president of our country,” he said.
 
“Some things that happen in the political arena can challenge a person’s beliefs, but it is the church family back home that helps to reaffirm what’s right and what’s wrong and keep the ‘moral compass’ on track.”
 
Moffitt has three children, one of which was deployed to Afghanistan in 2008.
 
“The Sunday before Justin deployed Rev. (Robert) Herath had a special prayer and blessing for our son near the end of the morning service,” he recalled.
 
“Rev. (Robert) Herath also gave a special devotional book both Justin and me and my wife. Since there was a devotion each day, we and our son could be reading the same devotion a half a world away. That was very helpful.”
 
Tom CrossRep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) is currently the House Minority Leader. The son of a United Methodist pastor from the Northern Illinois Conference, Cross would be in line to become Speaker of the House if Republicans took control of the Illinois House following the November elections.
Cross, who is a member of Oswego Good Shepherd UMC, represents the 84th House District, which is situated primarily in eastern DuPage County and part in suburban Cook County. First elected in 1992, Cross is an attorney and former prosecutor for Kendall County. He is a 1980 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University.
 
“As the son of a Methodist minister, I was fortunate to grow up in a home where my parents provided wonderful values for my brothers and me.  Many of the beliefs we learned in church and at home have carried over to my political career, including trying my best to have an open mind, an open heart, and an open door.”
 
Raymond PoeRep. Raymond Poe (R-Springfield) represents the 99th House District located in Sangamon County. A farmer since 1964, Poe was first elected to the House in 1994 after serving 21 years on the Williamsville School Board. Poe has been active in the Sherman UMC, serving as youth group leader from 1980 to 1990.
 
Chapin RoseJohn BradleyRep. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) serves as the representative from the 110th House District, which includes Coles, Douglas, Piatt and parts of Edgar and Champaign counties. First elected in 2002, Rose is an attorney..
 
Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) serves in the House from the 117th House District which is comprised of Franklin, Williamson and part of Hamilton County in southern Illinois. First elected in 2002, Bradley attends Marion Aldersgate UMC.