Attorney General candidate stops in Galesburg

He may not be the most well-known of the large number of candidates vying to become the next Illinois Attorney General after Lisa Madigan said she wouldn’t run again, but he is the first to stop in Galesburg.

Renato Mariotti is a Chicago attorney and former federal prosecutor for the Northern District of Illinois, and after meeting with the Knox County Democratic Party Wednesday in Galesburg, he spoke with college students at Q’s Cafe about the proposed elimination of a tax deduction that students benefit from.

“They’re getting rid of the deduction that you used to get for paying off your student loans,” says Mariotti. “It’s unfortunate for a lot of students who are just struggling to make those payments. I’ve got a lot of student loan payments yet to make for myself.”

Mariotti says the allowing the interest on student loan payments to be used as a tax credit has been a huge help for students.

While that is not something specifically Mariotti can do something about if elected, the current attorney general has made alleged predatory student loan practices one of her top priorities.

Why should someone from the Galesburg area vote for yet another Chicago-based politician for another statewide office — something voters in this area probably question more often than not? Mariotti says the answer is simple.

“I care enough to go around this entire state. This is the 19th town that I’ve visited,” says Mariotti, “actually meeting people in your town and elsewhere who are going through problems, because I want to learn and figure out what the problems are that everybody is facing. I want to be the Attorney General for everyone around the state.”

Mariotti says he feels many people in this area might be like his parents — still working hard to make ends meet. He claims his dad, for instance, is still a checker at Wal-Mart.

Mariotti — meanwhile — is a Chicago attorney and former federal prosecutor.