PLANO – U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren visited the Casey’s General Store on Route 34 in Plano on Wednesday morning as part of a campaign organized by a convenience store trade association.
Hultgren, a Republican from Plano whose 14th Congressional District includes eastern DeKalb County, including Sandwich and Sycamore, toured the gas station and kitchen area of the store and worked the counter, serving a couple customers, while talking with representatives of Casey’s about their concerns and issues.
Talking with the media, Hultgren also voiced support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
“... My choice is I’m going to support Trump,” Hultgren said.
The Arlington, Va.-based National Association of Convenience Stores organized the event, called NACS In Store.
“This is something I love to do, to get out and see what’s going on in the community, learn about different businesses, hearing from employees,” Hultgren said. “We heard from (NACS) that this is a program they have to allow congressmen to come in and tour, talk to some management but also with local staff, get a chance to serve some customers.
“And hear what’s working well, what are some of their frustrations that they’re facing, what are the challenges a store like this has to run, to be competitive, to really have what customers want and need.”
Hultgren said he often hears complaints from local businesses he visits about the number of government regulations they face, and that the Casey’s owners have similar issues.
“Some common themes are frustration with the number of regulations, especially something like this where they try and be a one-stop shop, the challenges, all the labeling,” he said. “It might be that they have to have eight different menu labels throughout the store, literally daily changes because they might have different doughnut options or different sandwich options or specials during the day. And just to hear how challenging that is and costly that is and oftentimes, how the regulation is very punitive, so it’s not just, ‘Hey, let’s work together to make sure customers have good information.’
“Boy, the store wants to do that, but a lot of things are written in a way that it’s just a ‘gotcha’ – that’s what I’m hearing from the companies or the stores I’m going to. They want to comply, they want to do the right thing, but it’s piling on where it’s regulation after regulation.”
Hultgren also reflected on his choice for president in the November election: Donald Trump. Before the Republican National Convention, he said he was “warming” to Trump, but was not committed to voting for him.
“To me, it’s a binary choice,” he said. “There’s two choices: it’s Hillary Clinton, it’s Donald Trump. I’m not supporting Hillary; I’m not going to do anything to help her. I don’t trust her. I think everything she’s doing is about herself and her foundation and her family and her friends.
“So, very frustrating to me. New stuff every single day, more untruth, more things that she said that are just not true. So, I’m not going to support her. My choice is I’m going to support Trump. Do I agree with him on everything? No, I don’t. But I also realize, I don’t know if there’s any other candidate, other than myself, that I agree with all the time. And that’s a healthy process. Give and take, hopefully we’ll work through some of that stuff. I think he’s getting better on some things.”
Referring to the Republican nominee for vice president, Hultgren continued, “I really like (Indiana Gov.) Mike Pence, I think he’s a great choice for vice president. I really like the process Trump is going through of how he’s going to select Supreme Court justices. To me, that’s hugely important, maybe the most important thing this president is going to do, whoever it is, is Supreme Court picks.
“It will be at least two, maybe three, maybe four Supreme Court justices, and I really respect the process that he’s going through much more than Hillary Clinton. So, just in those two reasons, that’s enough for me to vote for Donald Trump.”