By Mark Wachtler
October 22, 2014. Springfield. (ONN) As an independent news outlet made up of independent voters, the Illinois Herald has thus far announced our official endorsements for two Green Party candidates for the US House and the Libertarian nominee for Illinois Comptroller. We chose not to endorse anyone in the Governor or Secretary of State races. Today, we bring readers our final installment of endorsements, those for the Illinois state legislature.
The Illinois Herald happily endorses Republican Mel Thillens for IL State Rep in the 55th District. Image courtesy of Vote-IL.org.
Since there isn’t a single independent or opposition party candidate on the Illinois ballot for any of the state’s House or Senate seats, we’ve chosen a handful of races where we have a fairly decent knowledge of the candidates and districts. Not surprisingly, we’ve continued the Illinois Herald’s tradition of political opposition and with the exception of one State Representative, have endorsed the challengers over their incumbent opponents.
Illinois State Senate
6th District - If you like the way the state of Illinois has been run for the past decade, or run into the ground depending on your point of view, you can partially thank Illinois Senate President John Cullerton. Your author’s Alderman is Tim Cullerton, his cousin. And our Ward Committeeman is PJ Cullerton, another cousin. The family has been in power here for over 100 consecutive years, 111 to be exact. Surprisingly, Senate President Cullerton actually has an opponent this election - Republican Stefanie Linares. Like the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Herald also endorses Republican Stefanie Linares for State Senator in the 6th District.
18th District - As detailed by Chicago political analyst Russ Stewart, the incumbent Democrat Bill Cunningham is from the Chicago Machine’s Hynes dynasty and is a staunch backer of Senate President Cullerton. He has an opponent however in Republican Shaun Murphy. Murphy stepped in to challenge the incumbent rather than let him run unopposed after no Republicans ran for the GOP nomination in the Primary. The Illinois Herald endorses Republican Shaun Murphy for State Senator in the 18th District.
24th District - Republican State Rep Chris Nybo is credited by the Chicago Tribune with being somewhat of an independent-Republican saying the freshman legislator, “wasn't bashful about pointing out the failings of both parties.” His Democratic opponent Suzanne Glowiak is a 99-percenter, favoring the roll back of the state Income Tax increase, a progressive tax system that would benefit the middle and working classes, and a millionaire’s tax. This is the only State Legislature race where the Illinois Herald can’t make an endorsement, not because we don’t trust any of the candidates, but instead because we kind of like both. The Illinois Herald makes no endorsement.
Illinois State House
15th District - While House Speaker Madigan and many of his most loyal followers don’t have election challengers, one of them does - Democrat State Rep John D’Amico. D’Amico is a Machine Democrat from the Laurino dynasty. Analyst Russ Stewart describes the incumbent calling him and his allies, “wholly owned subsidiaries of Madigan Inc. Madigan funds (or funded) them, and they vote like they're told.” Like the Chicago Tribune, the Illinois Herald endorses Republican Greg Bedell for State Representative in the 15th District.
"The news shouldn't be left wing or right wing, conservative or liberal. It should be the news. It should be independent" - Mark Wachtler, Illinois Herald owner/editor
20th District - Incumbent Republican Michael McAuliffe has been in the State House for nearly 20 years. Your author has had a history of living much of his life in the District represented by McAuliffe and his late father Roger McAuliffe before him. He is being challenged by Democrat Mo Khan, who is described by analyst Russ Stewart as a Hillary Clintonite. We at the Illinois Herald like the idea of having at least one Republican elected official from a Chicago neighborhood, and Michael McAuliffe is currently the only Republican Illinois State Representative representing some part of Chicago. He’s governed without much flare, but without any scandals either, and that’s appreciated by his constituents. The Illinois Herald proudly endorses incumbent Republican Michael McAuliffe for State Representative in the 20th District.
55th District - Forgive us if we base some of our endorsements on sentimental reasons, as many voters also often do. In the race for the 55th State House district, incumbent Democrat Marty Moylan is being challenged by Republican Mel Thillens. Analyst Russ Stewart says the Chicago Machine and Speaker Madigan will spend an estimated $1 million defending Moylan. But Mel Thillens is from the same Thillens family that built Thillens little league baseball stadium on Kedzie Avenue in Chicago. Your author is one of hundreds of thousands of area residents that were blessed as a kid with the experience of playing baseball in a real Major League stadium, only on a Little League size. Any family that does that for millions of kids would hopefully represent us just as admirably. It’s also worth noting that of all the campaigns this election season, none has reached out to the Illinois Herald and been as open, available and accommodative as the Mel Thillens campaign. For an independent news outlet and its independent voters that are typically ignored by candidates, the courtesy was much appreciated. The Illinois Herald happily endorses Republican Mel Thillens for State Representative in the 55th District.
That’s it for this edition of candidate endorsements. Regardless of who you vote for, just make sure to get out and vote. And if we can leave readers with one final pearl of wisdom to take into the voting booth, and to please our Democrat readers and their statewide nominees who didn’t see any of their candidates endorsed, it’s this - voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. Don’t vote for evil.
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