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 of Representatives candidates:
Illinois Primary Elections 2012: Illinois House Endorsements Part I
2nd District: Democratic Primary: Edward Acevedo vs. Cuahutémoc Morphin vs. Josip Trutin. Incumbent State Rep. Acevedo has steadily built experience since taking office in 1995. He’s also fearless. Literally. Acevedo is a Chicago police officer who received an Award of Valor from the Sheriff’s Department for rescuing residents trapped in a fire. A lawmaker willing to risk his life for others is a safe bet that he also has his constituents’ back in Springfield. Acevedo is endorsed.
5th District: Democratic Primary: Ken Dunkin vs. Dori Collins. This Chicago district needs a fresh voice focused on the interests of its constituents. Collins is endorsed.
7th District: Democratic Primary: Princess Dempsey vs. Rory Hoskins vs. Beyonca Johnson vs. Chris Welch. Welch, a lawyer, is an experienced three-term Proviso School Board member who gets his arms around his constituents. He also has the confidence of local leaders. Welch is endorsed.
10th District: Democratic Primary: Derrick Smith vs. Tom Swiss. Swiss is a Republican who is cynically attempting to bamboozle Democratic voters. Smith is the real Chicago Democrat. He went and got himself arrested. Goof. We withdraw our original Smith endorsement. Now in this race, we offer no endorsement.
14th District: Democratic Primary: Kelly Cassidy vs. Paula Basta. Basta is a long-time lesbian activist with an admirable record of community service. However, in less than 10 months in office, appointed State Rep. Cassidy is already a shooting star in Springfield. Cassidy is boldly and courageously taking on tough issues such as nursing home reform, gun control, same-sex marriage, reproductive health care, and other controversial issues. Cassidy is enthusiastically endorsed.
19th District: Democratic Primary: Robert Martwick vs. Sandra Stoppa. Former Norridge village trustee Martwick, who is a lawyer, has the experience and a family tradition of incomparable public service to capably represent Democratic voters in the fall. Martwick is endorsed.
21st District: Democratic Primary: Silvana Tabares vs. Rudy Lozano. This race presents the difficult choice between two talented candidates. However, Tabares’ support for a progressive income tax is far more thoughtful than her opponent’s income tax position of merely extending the current and temporary flat tax increase that expires in 2014. A progressive income tax would ease the tax burden on the district’s residents. Tabares is endorsed.
22nd District: Democratic Primary: Michael J. Madigan vs. Michele J. Piszczor vs. Mike Rodriguez vs. Olivia Trejo. Piszczor’s campaign is paid, prompted, and pitied by Illinois Republicans in equal measure. This publication has placed a premium on experience for an endorsement. Madigan is: The Speaker. Enough said. Madigan is endorsed.
24th District: Democratic Primary: Lisa Hernandez vs. Robert Reyes vs. Neftalie Gonzalez. Reyes, 27, has served as an intern for important Illinois Democrats. His day in politics will come. But not now. Incumbent State Rep. Hernandez is gaining the experience necessary to effectively represent the interests of her constituents. Hernandez is endorsed.
26th District: Democratic Primary: Christian Mitchell vs. Kenny Johnson. This is another one of those tough choices between two qualified candidates for this open House seat. However, Mitchell has accumulated an impressive list of endorsements, including progressive icon Dawn Clark Netsch, that speak for themselves. Mitchell is endorsed.
27th District: Democratic Primary: Monique Davis vs. Preston Brown. This district would benefit from a fresh voice. Brown is preferred.
32nd District: Democratic Primary: Bobby Joe Johnson vs. André Thapedi. This is an easy choice. Thapedi has built valuable experience during his tenure in Springfield. He is emerging as a solid lawmaker. Thapedi is endorsed.