GRANITE CITY - On Tuesday evening, Granite City’s Nick Raftopoulos officially announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for State Representative in Illinois’ 111th House District.
“I am running because I think the 111th needs a representative that will fight for hard-working families, stand up for unions, and bring new solutions to the State House,” Raftopoulos says. Born and raised in Granite City, Raftopoulos has lived his entire life in the 111th State House District. He was educated in the public school system, earned an associates at Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) and a bachelor’s at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), and has reinvested in the district through the purchasing of a home for his family.
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Raftopoulos knows what struggles residents of the district face on a daily basis, and how hard-pressed everyone is to find relief during these uncertain and difficult economic times. From an early age, Raftopoulos has had a strong passion for helping others. During college, he traveled to New Orleans during spring break to help build houses for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and after he graduated from SIUE, he volunteered for several nonprofit organizations including The Good Samaritan House and Rebuilding Together, where he served on the board for both, and Metro East Rotary Club serving as president from 2020-2021.
“I think it’s great when young people step up to become leaders, and I have been so impressed with Nick Raftopoulos,” Granite City Alderman Ward 4 Brad Eavenson says. “Nick is outgoing and always willing to help the public. He’s just the kind of energetic and caring leader we need in state leadership roles, and I am very happy to endorse him.” Raftopoulos is currently an elected trustee for SWIC, first elected in April 2019 and reelected in 2023. He was then elected Chairman of the Board in October 2021, and again in April 2023. As a Trustee, Raftopoulos has ensured not to support the rise of tuition costs, and as a direct result of this, tuition remains the lowest in the state. “In my time serving on the SWIC Board with Nick, I saw firsthand his passion for supporting and advocating for public education,” says former SWIC trustee and Dorris Intermediate Schools Assistant Principal Sara Soehlke. “I have no doubt he will have the same commitment when he is elected as state representative.”
Brett Egger, grievance officer of the SWIC Faculty Union agrees. “Nick Raftopoulos has been an outstanding member and President of the Board of Trustees at Southwestern Illinois College,” he says. “His leadership at SWIC has led to a much higher level of job satisfaction among faculty and non-faculty. He has shown to possess all the qualities of a strong leader, and he is a proven union supporter. Nick will be an excellent state representative.”
Raftopoulos has also worked hand in hand with SWIC’s faculty to ensure they are paid a prevailing wage and are given the academic freedom that they need and deserve to teach students and foster success. “I’ve had the privilege of serving as one of Nick’s instructors while he attended SWIC, and more recently, I have witnessed as he chaired the SWIC Board of Trustees during what I consider to be their most influential period during the 15 years I have taught at the institution,” says Michael McClure, president of the SWIC Faculty Union.
“He is a genuine and pragmatic man with a determination to do what he feels is best for those involved. His dedication to do the right thing is the precise characteristic everyone should desire from a person vying for an influential position. I proudly support him in his campaign to run for Illinois State Representative.” For more information and to stay up-to-date, follow Nick Raftopoulos for State Representative District 111 on Facebook, or visit: https://www.nickforil-111.org/
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