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Illinois House and Senate 2014 Primary Endorsements Part I

Illinois House and Senate 2014 Primary Endorsements Part I

Editorial: Illinois House & Senate 2014 Primary Endorsements: The Illinois Observer begins today rolling out its Illinois House, Senate, Governor, and Treasurer endorsements for the March 18, 2014 primary.

Subscribers to The Illinois Observer’s e-newsletter, The Insider, receive an advance copy of our endorsements before they are published, here, on our Web site. (subscribe to a free, four-week trial of The Insider here).

Here is our *Editorial Board’s first batch of Illinois General Assembly primary endorsements:

Illinois Senate:

24th Senate District

GOP Primary: Chris Nybo v. Dennis Reboletti. State Rep. Dennis Reboletti of Elmhurst, who is well respected by his legislative colleagues, is known in Springfield as a team player and as a lawmaker who can get things done. He is someone who is unafraid to reach across aisle to seek compromise rather than to reach across the aisle to let off a verbal hand grenade. Reboletti, a former prosecutor, has a reputation for being tough, but fair. Reboletti is endorsed.

39th Senate District

Democratic Primary: Bob Galhotra v. Don Harmon. State Senator Don Harmon is one of the more reasonable and effective lawmakers in the Illinois Senate. He is hard working, smart, and accessible. He is one of the more talented legislators. In fact, many Springfield observers consider Harmon overqualified for this job – too nice, too thoughtful, too fair to be a member of the Illinois General Assembly. Harmon is enthusiastically endorsed.

Illinois House:

10th House District

Democratic Primary: Pamela Reaves-Harris v. Derrick Smith v. Beverly Perteet v. Eddie Winters v. Antwan Hampton. Chicago Police sergeant Eddie Winters, who served a brief, 4-month stint in the Illinois House in 2012, is a solid public servant. As a candidate, Winters is clear on his positions. He articulates his stances on issues without being evasive. Crucially, he would be a credible and forceful advocate for sensible gun safety laws sought by the district’s constituents. And most important, he is a viable alternative to incumbent Derrick Smith. Winters is endorsed.

20th House District

Democratic Primary: Mo Khan v. Jerry Acciari. Park Ridge accountant Mo Kahn is a bright young man who is making his first bid for public office while simultaneously attending law school. He is full of fresh ideas, energy, and courage. Before the House voted to approve the same sex marriage bill in November, Khan announced his support for the measure. Khan has been aggressively seeking the Democratic nomination – without establishment support – since the summer, drawing donors and door-knocker volunteers alike to his cause. His opponent mysteriously appeared on the last day and at the last hour of the candidate-filing period to submit his petitions. Khan is endorsed.

26th House District

Democratic Primary: Christian Mitchell v. Jhatayn “Jay” Travis: First-term State Rep. Christian Mitchell is a rising star in the Illinois House. He is a thoughtful and courageous lawmaker who broke with the bulk of the African-American religious community to vote for same sex marriage. He also cast a risky vote for pension reform. He is known for taking on tough issues and taking hard votes. And Mitchell, a protegé of County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, is respected in Springfield for his intelligence, his ability, and his willingness to address complex public policy challenges. His constituents benefit by his presence in the House. Mitchell is enthusiastically endorsed.

29th House District

Democratic Primary: Thaddeus Jones v. Kenneth “Kenny” Williams. State Rep. Thaddeus Jones is preferred.

34th House District

GOP Primary: Mark Ekhoff v. Fatimah “Timah” Macklin. No endorsement.

37th House District

GOP Primary: Margo McDermed v. Gayla Smith v. Arthur Lukowski. Attorney Margo McDermed, who worked for Amoco and BP, has served as both a Frankfort Township Trustee and Township Clerk. As Clerk, McDermed brought the township into the 21st Century. She introduced early voting in the township and organized 125 years of township records that had previously lingered away in cardboard boxes. Finally, she is a good ideological fit for the district and is someone who has the qualities to be an able lawmaker. McDermed, who is backed by retiring State Rep. Renée Kosel (R-New Lenox), is endorsed.

Democratic Primary: August O’Neill Deuser v. Nichole Serbin. Businesswoman Nichole Serbin, a Mokena resident, has sought and received the backing of the Illinois AFL-CIO, Chicago Federation of Labor, Citizen Action, Personal PAC, and Ironworkers Local #1. Serbin is endorsed.

39th House District

Democratic Primary: Maria Atonia “Toni” Berrios v. Will Guzzardi. In this rematch, the Editorial Board faced its most difficult decision of the primary season. In 2012, we endorsed State Rep. Toni Berrios, a compassionate and dignified lawmaker, who is deeply sympathetic to the concerns of her constituents. Will Guzzardi, a former Huffington Post/Chicago Associate Editor, is a hard charging, deeply intelligent candidate. He is a community organizer boiling over with ideas who eagerly wants the job. He has the qualities of an aggressive, bold leader. He deserves a chance. Guzzardi is endorsed.

40th House District

Democratic Primary: Nancy Schiavone, Jaime Andrade, Jr., Aaron Goldstein, Wendy Jo Harmston, Mark Pasieka, and Melanie “Mel” Ferrand. Appointed State Rep. Jaime Andrade, Jr., who replaced State Rep. Deb Mell, is well known for his commitment to constituent service during his years working for former 32nd Ward Alderman Dick Mell. Andrade knows the community and he knows where their interests lie. He will, hopefully, grow in office. Andrade is endorsed.

42nd House District

GOP Primary: Jeanne Ives v. Adam Johnson. State Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton was first elected in 2012. Harvard University and Wheaton Warrenville South graduate Adam Johnson, who works in the DuPage County clerk’s office, is a young, energetic conservative who would be an effective, non-polarizing legislator. Johnson is more interested in working for the interests of district’s constituents rather than cultivating controversy through divisive rhetoric or tilting at windmills. Johnson is enthusiastically endorsed.

45th House District

GOP Primary: Daniel Brinkman v. Seth Lewis v. Christine Winger v. T.J. Lewis. Vying for the House seat being vacated by State Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst), Seth Lewis, 45, who is the owner of a State Farm insurance agency and who is married to Dr. Bhavna Sharma-Lewis, superintendent of Riverside School District 96, says he would have supported the pension reform legislation, Senate Bill 1, backed by House Speaker Michael Madigan. Bi-partisanship is an important quality in lawmaking. Lewis is endorsed.

48th House District

GOP Primary: Peter Breen v. Sandra Pihos. Veteran lawmaker State Rep. Sandra Pihos of Glen Ellyn has been a helpful ally and actively engaged with the DuPage Cancer Center during her tenure. Pihos, who is liked by her colleagues, has moderate impulses but rarely acts on them. And while she is a thoughtful legislator, she hesitates to commit to legislative proposals, frustrating potential allies. Nevertheless, her constituents benefit by a representative who refuses to overreach and who refuses to pursue ideological crusades over practical solutions. Pihos is endorsed.

(*Rich Miller is not a member of The Illinois Observer’s Editorial Board and had no role in the endorsements).


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(*Note to Political Insiders: The Illinois Observer also offers our exclusive, subscriber-only e-newsletter – The Insider – to, well, Illinois political insiders. Each Tuesday and Friday at 6:00 a.m. The Insider, whose Consulting Editor is Capitol Fax Publisher Rich Miller, arrives in e-mail boxes with the choicest Illinois, Cook County, and Chicago political gossip, insider information, and news tips. For more information and a free, 4-week trial subscription to The Insider, please go here).

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One comment

  1. Do I see a pattern here? You endorse bold democratic candidates who take a stand for what they believe, and you endorse republican candidates who reach across the aisle and are comprimising.

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