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Illinois: Democrats Hoping to Exploit Ozinga Case

In the latest tit-for-tat with Democrats, Martin Ozinga’s (R) campaign is staying mum on the concrete magnate’s involvement in a soured land deal with a local farmer.

“It is a business-related litigation that doesn’t have any bearing on the campaign, so we’re not commenting on it,” Ozinga spokesman Andy Sere said.

But according to a local news report, a judge recently said that Ozinga needs to give his side of the story involving the proposed sale of Raymond Kunkel’s farm.

Ozinga, the recently appointed GOP candidate in retiring Rep. Jerry Weller’s (R) central Illinois district, is locked in a dispute with Kunkel for allegedly backing out of an agreement with his company — and later selling it to another buyer — according to the Gatehouse News Service.

Ozinga had avoided testifying in the case by claiming he had “no relevant knowledge,” the news service reported, but was contradicted by other witnesses in the case. In the wake of the judge’s ruling, Democrats called Ozinga “the consummate political insider who has made a career of gaming the system and engaging in the pay-to-play politics.”

“Ozinga needs to immediately come forward and finally tell the truth about the growing number of ethical and legal questions raised by his inside deals — this latest report of him possibly lying under oath is no exception,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Ryan Rudominer said in a statement.

Ozinga is running against state Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D) in the race to replace Weller.

— Matthew Murray

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