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DECATUR - Two Decatur-area Republican candidates picked up a raft of endorsements Wednesday from a number of pro-business groups.

Representatives of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, National Federation of Independent Business and Illinois Chamber of Commerce gathered at Deco Mfg. to endorse state Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, in his 51st Senate District race against Democrat Tim Dudley of Decatur.

Speaking over the sound of welders and saws in the factory's interior, Federation state director Kim Maisch said her organization supports McCarter because of his experience as a small-business owner. McCarter's Lebanon-based business manufactures plastics.

"(McCarter) is a small-business owner," Maisch said. "He lives and breathes these issues, because he knows how these policies affect small business every day."

McCarter likened the work done at Deco to his own company's and spoke about changes he said must be made to the way the state deals with businesses, including reforming workers compensation laws and reforming the laws governing lawsuits.

"Just saying 'I want jobs' is not good enough," McCarter said. "We have to structurally change the way we do business in this state."

Cory Daugherty, general manager at Deco, said McCarter understands the position he's in as a business owner. Daugherty said workers compensation issues in particular are of great concern to him.

Adam Brown, the Decatur Republican challenging state Rep. Bob Flider, D-Mount Zion, in the 101st House District, met with Maisch and business owners at TCR Systems to receive Federation's endorsement.

"We have a lot of politicians who say they support small business, but their voting record proves otherwise," Maisch said. "We need lawmakers who will stand up and fight for jobs, and Adam is that person."

Brown, a farmer, said he was proud to have the endorsement and would work with the group on helping small businesses.

"Our area has so much to offer potential employers," Brown said. "We must work together in order to attract new businesses to our area."

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