Editor’s Note: In this publication’s nearly five-year history of covering Illinois state government, we have had a policy of offering no election endorsements. For the 2012 elections and beyond, that policy has changed. Last month, THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER launched its “Endorsement Project 2012”. We gathered seasoned observers of Springfield to form an “Editorial Board” and to review the questionnaires and endorsements of legislative candidates from special interest groups and from other media outlets in Illinois. We reached our own conclusions. Thank you for reading.
For the March 20, 2012 primary, THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER has endorsed the following Illinois State House candidates:
Illinois Primary Elections 2012: Illinois House Endorsements Part II
34th District: Democratic Primary: Paul Gregoire vs. Kyle Kasperek vs. Elgie Sims, Jr. vs. Richard Wooten vs. Sandra Wortham. Lawyer, lobbyist, and former staffer to Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, Sims, who is also armed with a Masters in Public Administration, will be ready to legislate on Day 1. Sims is enthusiastically endorsed.
35th District: Democratic Primary: Andrew Hodorowicz vs. Frances Ann Hurley vs. Anthony Martin. Well endowed with an array of government experience, including a stint at the Illinois Auditor General’s office, Hodorowicz would bring a thought voice to Springfield. Hodorowicz is endorsed.
38th District: Democratic Primary: Clifton Graham vs. Al Riley. No endorsement.
39th District: Democratic Primary: Toni Berrios vs. Will Guzzardi. He we go again. Another agonizing choice. Guzzardi, 24, a Brown University graduate in comparative literature and an ex-Huffington Post Chicago bureau editor is the kind of legislator that Springfield needs. But not now. Springfield’s problems are so vast that they demand every experienced hand-on-deck. Incumbent State Rep. Barrios has 10 years of legislative experience. Berrios is endorsed.
42nd District: Republican Primary: Dave Carlin vs. Chris Hage vs. Jeanne M. Ives vs. Laura Pollastrini. Hage, a lawyer, has served as the legal counsel to the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee. That legal experience has, however, done nothing to improve his understanding of the Illinois budget and economics. While Illinois is burdened by more than $8 billion in unpaid debts, Hage preaches tax cuts and pays for them by the magic fairy dust of “economic growth”. Hage is grudgingly preferred.
46th District: Republican Primary: John Humes vs. Daniel Kordik. York Township Clerk Kordik, 52, bests Humes, 29, who has a background in mortuary science. Korkik is endorsed.
52nd District: Republican Primary: Kent Gaffney vs. David McSweeney vs. Danielle Rowe. This is an easy choice. Tea Party populist and high school graduate Rowe is not a serious candidate. McSeeney has made wild, unsubstantiated charges in this campaign. He has no credibility. Appointed State Rep. Gaffney, a former Illinois House GOP staffer, is long on experience and maturity that is necessary for a lawmaker. Gaffney is enthusiastically endorsed.
58th District: Republican Primary: Lauren Turelli vs. Mark Neerhof. Turelli is a Lake Forest park board member. Turelli is preferred.
67th District: Democratic Primary: Charles Jefferson vs. Gloria Lind. Incumbent State Rep. Jefferson has long experience as both a county board member and as a state lawmaker. Jefferson has strong relationships with his legislative colleagues that make him warmly regarded. Jefferson is endorsed.
68th District: Democratic Primary: Clint Little vs. Carl Wasco. Little is endorsed.
71st District: Democratic Primary: James Arduini vs. Mike Smiddy. Arduini is a Whiteside County board member and Smiddy is an ex-aide to ex-U.S. Congressman Lane Evans. Arduini edges out Smiddy. Arduini is endorsed.
72nd District: Democratic Primary: Glen Evans vs. Patrick Verschoore. Incumbent State Rep. Verschoore is well-liked, well-appreciated and is devoted to his constituents. Verschoore is enthusiastically endorsed.
72nd District: Republican Primary: Neil Anderson vs. Jonathan Wallace. No endorsement.