BENTON (Heartland Newsfeed) — A 27-year-old former international model is challenging U.S. Representative Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) for the Republican nomination in the 12th Congressional District.
Preston Nelson, a Benton resident who works as a network service technician for Marion-based wireless internet company 4SIWI, is striving to become the youngest representative elected to Congress. He has worked in restaurants, modeled in Brazil and China and taught English previously. Nelson also characterizes himself as a libertarian activist.
“I am running to save the world from more foreign policy disaster which has left many millions dead and displaced in recent decades,” Nelson said. “The whole establishment seems content so long as the military industrial complex profits, even as the U.S. enables Saudi Arabia’s genocidal war in Yemen. All this while our nation plunges dangerously in debt. Scaling back, we will immediately save billions of dollars, making possible big tax relief.”
While Nelson has yet to file paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission regarding his candidacy, he said he’s gathering nominating signatures to get on the ballot. He’s noted that he does plan to raise money and run advertising close to the primary in March with hopes of unseating Bost.
“Common-sense Libertarian values — rights to life, property and privacy — go right up most Southern Illinoisan alleys,” Nelson said. “If nothing else, I want to give voters an option for something other than the status quo.”
Nelson notes that he is more conservative than Bost and has reached out to Breitbart News Network headed by former White House adviser Steve Bannon, but has not heard back yet.
In a third-quarter report to the FEC, Bost raised more than $713,000 for his re-election with nearly $533,800 cash on hand.
A five-way race for the Democratic nomination includes St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, Dean Pruitt of Milstadt, David Bequette of Columbia, Pat McMahan of Mascoutah and Chris Miller of Roxana.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.