Editorial: Illinois House Endorsements Part II: The Illinois Observer today rolls out its final Illinois House primary 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 the final batch of Illinois House primary endorsements from our Editorial Board*:
Here are the remaining House endorsements:
50th House District
GOP Primary: Julie Cosimo v. Beth Goncher v. Keith Wheeler v. William Keck. Beth Goncher, a 12-year legislative director to State Rep. Tim Schmitz (R-Batavia), knows the district and understands the important public policy issues that confront Illinois. Goncher, a single mother, is a moderate voice who can hit the ground running and begin legislating – responsibly. Goncher is endorsed.
51st House District
GOP Primary: Ed Sullivan, Jr. v. Bob Bednar. This race is one of the easier ones for the Editorial Board. State Rep. Ed Sullivan, Jr. (R-Mundelein) is an experienced, even-handed, respected lawmaker who can work across the aisle to achieve solutions. His knowledge of tax issues makes him an important voice within the House GOP caucus. In addition to being admired in Springfield, he is admired at home for representing the broader interests of his constituents rather than catering to the prejudices of ideologues. Sullivan is endorsed.
65th House District
GOP Primary: Steven Andersson v. Debbie Miller v. Daniel Ugaste. Attorney Steven Andersson, who has served as both a trustee and treasurer on the Geneva Library District Board for nearly 5 years, has a wealth of local government experience. He has been General Counsel for the Village of Montgomery, the Village of Sugar Grove, the Village of Hinckley and Counsel for the MetroWest Council of Government. That experience has won Andersson the confidence and the endorsements of 62 elected local leaders throughout Kane County and Northern Illinois, including, most important, the highly respected State Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles). He is the right person for the district. Andersson is endorsed.
75th House District
GOP Primary: John Anthony v. Ron Severson. Appointed State Rep. John Anthony (R-Morris), who replaced State Rep. Pam Roth (R-Morris), is a promising fresh face in the Illinois House. A former police officer, Anthony has taken a leading role on a legislative initiative to reform the state’s hiring process at the Illinois Department of Corrections, providing a thoughtful perspective on the proposed legislation. Beyond law enforcement issues, Anthony, who brings needed diversity to the GOP House caucus as its only African-American member, is also developing a strong voice on education issues. Anthony is endorsed.
77th House District
Democratic Primary: Kathleen Willis v. Antonio “Tony” Favela. State Rep. Kathleen Willis (D-Addison) has committed no major gaffes in her first term. She is an earnest lawmaker who is alert to the needs of her constituents. Willis needs more time to grow and develop her experience in the legislature. Willis is endorsed.
79th House District
Democratic Primary: Katherine “Kate” Cloonen v. John Howard. First-term State Rep. Kate Cloonen (D-Kankakee) is an energetic and independent lawmaker who worked hard to achieve the job without Democratic establishment support. She has made no major missteps in her first year in office – with the exception of voting against same sex marriage legislation that even had the support of her GOP opponent, Glenn Nixon. Nevertheless, she has captured seats on important House committees – Agriculture, State Government, Economic Development – that give her a broad view of state government. Cloonen is endorsed.
81st House District
GOP Primary: Keith Matune v. Ron Sandack. The choice in this contest is clear. State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove), a former Downers Grove mayor, is a genuine rising star in the House – and Illinois politics. Sandack’s blend of intelligence, enthusiasm, moderation, and deeply conservative fiscal credentials not only qualify him for second term in the House, but also position him to be a viable, future candidate for governor. If Republicans are to ever exit their minority status in Illinois, Sandack serves as their role model and his record as their road map. Sandack is enthusiastically endorsed.
94th House District
GOP Primary: Randy Frese v. Marshall Schrader. Two-term Adams County Circuit Clerk Randy Frese, who is seeking the seat being vacated by State Rep. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy), has a reputation for integrity and professionalism. Frese, who is backed by Tracy and other ranking GOP leaders, has served on the Board of Directors for the Adams County Fair as well as the Quincy Catholic Charities Board, distinguishing himself as a committed civic leader. Frese is endorsed.
96th House District
GOP Primary: Michael Bell v. Landon Laubhan. Local school board vice president and AFSCME member Mike Bell, who entered the race endorsing the extension of Illinois’ temporary income tax increase, but, bowing to the electoral realities of the district, has subsequently reversed himself, would provide a much needed organized labor point of view inside the GOP House caucus. Bell is endorsed.
Democratic Primary. Gina Lathan v. Sue Scherer. State Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur) won her first her term in 2012. Gina Lathan is a long-time, Springfield community advocate, organizer and small business owner. Lathan, who is attuned to the interests of average voters, has the energy to be an able lawmaker. Lathan is endorsed.
97th House District
GOP Primary: Mark Batinick v. Richard Chapman v. Amanda Mancke. In the race to succeed State Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego), who is running for Treasurer, Amanda Mancke fits the moderate mold of lawmaking that Cross himself has embraced and that his constituents have appreciated during his tenure. Mancke is a teacher who is thoughtful on education issues and who would work well in Springfield. Additionally, she would unlikely be found sporting a “Batman” costume in local parades as one of her opponents has reportedly done in order to grab attention. Instead, Mancke will elevate the Office of State Representative rather than reduce it to a cartoon caricature, focusing on results, not pranks. Mancke is warmly endorsed.
103rd House District
Democratic Primary: Carol Ammons v. Samuel Rosenberg. Well-liked veteran State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson (D-Champaign) is retiring. Attorney Sam Rosenberg, 29, who has racked up endorsements from the current and past mayors of Champaign, the mayor of Urbana, as well as many other local, elected officials, including Jakobsson, has ably served in the Champaign County State’s Attorney office. He would be a good ideological fit for the district and would be a solid lawmaker. Rosenberg is endorsed.
110th House District
GOP Primary: Darrell Cox v. Kevin Garner v. Reginald “Reggie” Phillips. Charleston businessman Reggie Phillips, who has the support of retiring State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Charleston), has said he would be a “Citizen Legislator” and has pledged to serve no more than 4, two-year terms by which time he would be 68. Phillips is preferred.
115th House District
GOP Primary: Terri Bryant v. Robert “Bob” White. Illinois Department of Corrections employee and former restaurant owner Terri Bryant is hoping to succeed State Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro) who is running for Congress. Bryant, who currently works at the Pinckneyville Correctional Center managing the dietary department, views state facilities as a source of economic development in Southern Illinois and opposes further closures. Bryant is preferred.
Democratic Primary: William “Bill” Kilquist v. Tony Mayville. Bill Kilquist, a John A. Logan College trustee and a former, six-term Jackson County sheriff, has cultivated a long record of public service. Kilquist, who also served as the warden of the Murphysboro Illinois Youth Center, would bring a deep understanding of law enforcement and corrections policy to the legislature. Kilquist is endorsed.
Next: Treasurer and Governor.
(*Rich Miller had no role in the Editorial Board’s endorsements)
(*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).