CENTRAL ILLINOIS, (WMBD) — Two candidates are going head-to-head for a seat in the statehouse, both hoping to gain the Republican nomination for Illinois 93rd district.

On the left is state representative Mark Luft and on the right is opponent businessman Travis Weaver. With the redrawn boundaries, both are running to represent the new 93rd District.

The district starts just east of Colona and stretches south to Pekin. It includes Annawan, Cambridge, Kewanee, Williamsfield, Brimfield, Edwards, and a few other small towns.

Mark Luft currently occupies two offices: Pekin city mayor, since being elected in 2019, and state representative of the 91st assembly district-taking office in January 2021.

“Number one, I have a proven record in my community, I have a proven record in my district of getting things done. I am not someone who is sitting here promising, I am someone who is sitting here who is proven. As mayor, when I got elected as state rep as mayor, I gave my salary back to the taxpayers. I didn’t feel it was right to double-dip. I would do anything for my community, my district, and my state. We have a very strong team in Springfield right now, and it is imperative that we keep that team there,” said Luft.

A new face stands in Luft’s path to another term, republican candidate Travis Weaver. Weaver is the son of former State Senator, Chuck Weaver, who represented the 37th district. This is Weaver’s first run for office.

“I think it’s important that we elect leaders who have experience in the areas where Illinois needs the most help. Illinois has the most terrible financial situation, we have the nation’s largest pension liabilities, the worst debt ratio, and the heaviest tax burden. That’s exactly where my experience lies. I spent seven years working at Caterpillar, working in finance and strategy roles. I’ve worked on pensions, I’ve issued debt, I’ve also owned a small business, and I’m a part of a vibrant small business community,” said Weaver.

Right now, several major topics are raising concerns across the state. One is high gas prices.

Mark Luft said his team has been hard at work to cut the gas tax and will continue to keep fighting.

“We did bring forth legislation last session to cut the gas tax, and unfortunately we weren’t able to get that through. The other side of the aisle did stop a 2.2 tax increase but no reduction on it, and that is something that we really need to push hard when we get back into session,” said Luft.

Travis Weaver said when it comes to the gas tax, he’ll make sure it’s actually going to Illinois roads.

“I think step 1 in any of that windfall money needs to go back into the pocket of the taxpayer. I also think we need to focus on spending our gas tax money where it’s supposed to be. In the last infrastructure bill, the governor passed, there’s money in there from the gas tax that includes things like pickleball courts, snowmobile pads, tuck pointing for non-government buildings, and things that have nothing to do with roads,” said Weaver.

The primary will be held on Tuesday, June 28th.