Born and raised in Columbia, Illinois, I am the eldest of 3 boys, and a product of a blue-collar, hardworking American family.  I graduated from Columbia High School and attended Missouri Baptist College on an athletic and academic scholarship.  One year later, I set off to join the U.S. Marine Corps, where I spent five years serving our country and defending U.S. interests in Indonesia, China, and Malta.  Over the past 15 years, I completed my degree at Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville, worked as a government contractor, built 3 social enterprises, lectured undergraduate and graduate students in marketing and leadership, and created two non-profit organizations.  My wife, Irina, is a well-respected political scientist and activist, who also happens to be my best friend and confidant.  I am deeply inspired by working to create a better future for our three amazing children.  

Though my personal and professional journey has taken me around the world, I am returning to Illinois because I am passionate about giving our citizens the best opportunities the world has to offer, the most common-sense social protections, and the most pragmatic leadership that can be mustered. 

I want to restore the 12th District’s status as a place where our children can thrive. Where they know there are abundant opportunities for education and careers in every field.  Where equal pay for women is not just a national concern but a local one. Southern Illinois deserves leadership that cares about every one of its citizens. My wife and children are proud carriers of Armenian heritage, and our family is a symbol of the multicultural families that are a natural part of a diverse and thriving Southern Illinois.  I am a candidate that can relate to multiple generations of voters, channeling years of leadership and relationship training, inspiring our neighbors and friends to get out, vote, and WIN.

I would enter this race with an iron-clad commitment to fight on behalf of my neighbors and residents in the 12th district.  This decision comes after years of research, soul searching, and an eventual realization that I want to serve my community through representative politics.  I bring with me a dedicated team, and we are confident in our ability to take back the 12th in 2018 on behalf of Illinois and its citizens.

The 12th district has seen nearly 3 decades of political insiders come and go. It’s time for a fresh look, a fresh perspective, and a truly progressive warrior to represent the citizens of Southern Illinois’ District 12! 

Some of my priorities for the 12th:

Voter registration and Voter Turnout

A key component to a thriving and participatory democracy is an interested, informed, and active voter base. A main priority of my campaign will be to inspire voters to register and participate in the process – no matter who they plan to vote for or where their political ideologies lie.  The 12th district - specifically the Metro East counties - have historically had lower voter turnout numbers.  This must change to ensure a truly representative political system in the Illinois 12th.

Economy and Jobs

The 12th district, much like most of Illinois, has seen nearly 20 years of dwindling jobs, increasing unemployment, and a crumbling of manufacturing and mining businesses. At the cusp of the 21st Century, we have a real opportunity to embrace high tech, renewable energy, and bio-tech as the means to bringing back high-quality, well-paying jobs to our district.  Large corporations can make Southern Illinois their home base of operations.  Miners and their families can receive new educational and professional tools to become the engine of this transformation.  With our positioning in the Metro East, we have an opportunity not only to attract large corporations, but also to become a hub for start-ups in high tech enterprises.

The Environment

On climate change, I will take my advice from scientists, not lobbyists. When 97% of scientists, the U.S. Military, and all U.S. Intelligence Services confirm that climate change exists and is a real threat to our national security and the well-being of generations to come, we must listen.  Illinois 12th District must take the lead on environmental friendly business policies and we must work together to formulate innovative solutions to protect the environment around us.

Women’s Health and Planned Parenthood

I will defend access to contraception, education, STD screening, and a woman’s right to choose.  I will fight any legislation or executive action that would allow an insurance company to discriminate against women because of erroneously dubbed “pre-existing conditions.”

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Our Constitution must be protected. I will fight any legislation or executive order that discriminates against anyone of any sexual orientation, race, gender, or place of birth.  Fundamentally, this is about protecting the “American identity” and the sanctity of the “American dream.”  We are a nation built on immigrants and should continue to be a beacon of hope to those hard working immigrants looking for a better life and opportunities for their children.   Our strength and the future of our nation lies in our ability to overcome difference to find common ground and acceptance.

Foreign Policy

Over the last two decades the United States has been embroiled in a number of military campaigns, which have resulted in the death of thousands of U.S. troops.  As a proud U.S. Marine Corps veteran and supporter of our military, I believe the best way we can support our troops is by keeping them safe, equipping them well to defend the United States, and only utilizing their superior strength through military intervention when it is absolutely necessary and approved by Congress.  I will fight to make sure that Congressional approval is an absolute prerequisite for future U.S. military deployments overseas, and I will always fight to make sure it’s the very last alternative.

Farming and Agriculture

Coming from a farming family and having started several businesses rooted in promoting sustainable, lucrative agricultural development, I understand the importance of farming in Southern Illinois. I will fight for farmers, to ensure that their interest is a priority over big agriculture chemical firms and their lobbyists.

Healthcare

My family and I know first-hand what it’s like to face financial ruin as a result of  inadequate medical coverage.  Although the Affordable Care Act wasn’t perfect, it was a common-sense, effective first step.  I will continue the fight to improve this landmark legislation, not repeal it. We simply cannot leave 24 million people uninsured, 7 million of whom are veterans.

Government Accountability

November 2018 will be one of the most important elections in the history of the United States Congress. This is not only a referendum on our current administration, but it’s also a time to restore the role of Congress as the guarantor of your rights and interests in Washington. We have a chance to form the youngest, most diverse, and most progressive Congress in US history.  

I pledge to the voters in Illinois’ District 12 to be a consistent and effective voice in Congress. I will hold our government accountable on your behalf.  Be a part of the journey to retake Washington and restore professionalism and effective leadership in U.S. politics.

Campaign page:

www.BequetteforCongress.com



Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • richard wosylus endorsed

    “We can no longer have a man like Mike Bost represent us. Bost will not have a Town Hall to explain his many votes against us, his constituents. David seems sincere and truthful and that is enough for me, he will have my support as long as he needs it.”

  • Alice Greenwald endorsed

    “I support David Bequette because he represents exactly what we need: compassionate and progressive patriotism. Excited to see him run for Congress!”

  • Deb Bleeke Sanjour endorsed

    “We need to support all Democrats to take back control of our government!”

  • Caryn Bailey endorsed

    “He's a veteran with integrity and ideals that I believe are the foundation of what it is to be a true American.”

  • Mary Mickey Clancy-Kreutz endorsed

    “I support David Bequette because he's a good, honest former Marine who wants to protect us. He's a progressive who wants to make a difference and selflessly represent the people, fighting tirelessly for them. He took an oath to protect us both at home and abroad. We need him now!”

  • USMC-SS endorsed

    “Marines get the job done. People over party, never Trump. Semper-Fi "Always Faithful, Always Forward”

  • Vasken Kalayjian endorsed

    “David is bright, passionate, dedicated with values we need in US politics.”

  • Vahan Zanoyan endorsed

    “When it comes to consequential social and political issues, David is one of the most passionate and devoted people I know, with an unwavering determination and conviction to do what's right.”

  • Anat and Clark Price endorsed

    “He is a hardworking, devoted, honest person, who truly cares about people and about the country. He is not afraid to fight for what is right, even in difficult moments.”

  • Lucineh Kassarjian endorsed

    “David is determined to make America NORMAL again.”

September 29, 2017

Urgent - 24 hours to reach our goal!

Dear Friends,

It has been an incredible three months, traveling throughout our district, meeting with constituents and discussing their concerns.

The campaign team is growing and our volunteer corps is on the ground gathering signatures for petitions and getting ready for a highly contested primary.

We are committed to honor our pledge to stay away from PAC money and make this a fully people funded campaign, which is why we need your help.

Tomorrow, September 30th at midnight, the FEC deadline will hit and we will be closing out the quarter. We are still several donations away from our goal of $10,000.

Donate Here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/davidbequette

Please consider donating to our campaign, sharing our story with progressive friends and family and let them know that we are doing this the right way.

Thank you again for your support!
- David Bequette

July 9, 2017

Touring the District

Thanks again to everyone who has joined our movement and showed their support. The tour of the district has begun and we are dedicated to meeting with those communities who have been ignored and alienated, providing them with a voice and urging them to become a part of the process through participation and elections.

Check out our new website for updates and make sure to share and subscribe.

Through participation and inclusion, we can move Southern Illinois forward!

Best,

David Bequette for Congress

https://bequetteforcongress.com





June 15, 2017

Statement on the Alexandria mass shooting

Dear Illinois District 12 Constituents and Fellow Americans,

The mass shooting of Members of Congress and staff at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia in the morning hours of June 14 was just another tragic event in a series of actions that exemplify the divisiveness and hate tearing at our country’s social and political fabric. Last month, a young black student was stabbed at the University of Maryland, with early evidence pointing to a racially-motivated hate crime.  Earlier in Portland, two passengers on a train were stabbed to death while stepping in to protect other passengers from a deranged individual hell-bent on destruction in the name of religious intolerance.

How do we move on from this? Where do we go from here?

First, we must acknowledge and accept that we are all in this together. Our democracy has been built on diversity and difference of opinion.  The United States of America has been the leader of the free world in innovation and creation, and at our best, we have served as a powerful example of the strength and economic potential of diversity, tolerance, and acceptance.  At this critical moment in our nation’s history, we must come together – neighborhood by neighborhood, community by community, state by state - and steadfastly resolve that violence is not an option, hate is not an option.  We must recommit ourselves to our greatest aspirations and highest ideals, and not give in to our basest fears or deepest doubts.

I call on all those that have in the past used hate, name-calling, bullying, violence, or any other aggressive forms of activism to stop.  I don’t mean stop being involved.  Our great country has afforded us constitutional inalienable rights to peacefully participate in debate with one another through elections, through community organization, and through our legal system. Wherever you find yourself on the political spectrum, I urge you to register to vote, to attend local party chair meetings, to resist peacefully, and to utilize your voting power to affect change.

I call on the legislative leadership in our government – in the House of Representatives and the Senate -  to stop pointing fingers at one another and take responsibility for your words and actions.  Stop spreading the rhetoric of hate and inspire your constituents to do the same.  Motivate your constituents to be involved in shaping our country’s future not through violence, but through community organization and elections.  The greatness of our country can and will be built on our ability to peacefully disagree. 

May 29, 2017

Launch of our Facebook Page

In just two weeks, we've received over 50 pledges, 26 endorsements, local coverage in the BND and The Republic Times, countless messages of support, outreach from local democratic chairs, and a resounding grassroots call for action that has pushed this campaign even closer to an official launch. 

We have begun scheduling events and tours in mid-July around Illinois district 12, to meet with neighbors and friends who are ready for participatory and inclusive democracy. 

Follow us on the official Facebook page to recieve updates on upcoming events and to learn more about this movement and how you can take part. 

Best Wishes, 

Dave Bequette

May 14, 2017

Incredible First 48 Hours

Thank you to everyone that has supported or endorsed our campaign over the past 48 hours. The outporing of personal messages of support, inquiries into how people can volunteer to become a part of our movement, and the interest in making our district a better place is truly inspiring. 

I have made a personal committment that once we reach $10,000 we will file our Federal Election Commission (FEC) paperwork and launch our website. 

This campaign is about restoring inclusive politics in Southern Illinois. Together, let's inspire our friends and neighbors to get out and vote in record numbers. The stakes are too high, and we're fighting for our future. 

Thank you for your tremendous support. Keep sharing, keep inspiring, and let's work together to make Southern Illinois the best it can be!

Dave Bequette


May 12, 2017

Campaign created!

Show your support for this campaign by endorsing it and sharing why!

  • Amy Elder endorsed

  • Ryan Albert endorsed

  • David Schwartz endorsed

  • Steven Maginnis endorsed

  • richard wosylus endorsed

    “We can no longer have a man like Mike Bost represent us. Bost will not have a Town Hall to explain his many votes against us, his constituents. David seems sincere and truthful and that is enough for me, he will have my support as long as he needs it.”

  • Chris Miller endorsed

  • Alice Greenwald endorsed

    “I support David Bequette because he represents exactly what we need: compassionate and progressive patriotism. Excited to see him run for Congress!”

  • Kendra Myers endorsed

  • Armen Devejian endorsed

  • Deb Bleeke Sanjour endorsed

    “We need to support all Democrats to take back control of our government!”

  • Caryn Bailey endorsed

    “He's a veteran with integrity and ideals that I believe are the foundation of what it is to be a true American.”

  • Mary Mickey Clancy-Kreutz endorsed

    “I support David Bequette because he's a good, honest former Marine who wants to protect us. He's a progressive who wants to make a difference and selflessly represent the people, fighting tirelessly for them. He took an oath to protect us both at home and abroad. We need him now!”

  • USMC-SS endorsed

    “Marines get the job done. People over party, never Trump. Semper-Fi "Always Faithful, Always Forward”

  • Vasken Kalayjian endorsed

    “David is bright, passionate, dedicated with values we need in US politics.”

  • Susan Greeley endorsed

  • harout topsacalian endorsed

  • Vahan Zanoyan endorsed

    “When it comes to consequential social and political issues, David is one of the most passionate and devoted people I know, with an unwavering determination and conviction to do what's right.”

  • Anat and Clark Price endorsed

    “He is a hardworking, devoted, honest person, who truly cares about people and about the country. He is not afraid to fight for what is right, even in difficult moments.”

  • Lucineh Kassarjian endorsed

    “David is determined to make America NORMAL again.”

  • Roger Strauch endorsed

    “I have known David and Irina for over 5 years. They are visionary business people and community leaders. David is an exceptionally high integrity individual who will represent his fellow Americans effectively and with a passion that will inspire current and future supporters. And he has already served our country with honor in the Marines.”

  • Hovakim Saghatelyan endorsed

    “He is a man of his word, you can definitely trust him.”

  • Terri Linek endorsed

  • Matthew Stromgren endorsed

  • Mihran Toumajan endorsed

  • Anthony Loving endorsed

    “He seems like a nice guy that cares about people. And he shares my values.”

  • David M Adams endorsed

  • Alex Balashov endorsed

  • Aaron Snively endorsed

  • Daniel Kallio endorsed

  • Cyndi Aberle endorsed

    “I endorse David Bequette because he stands for the values that are what America was founded on. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”