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The presidential election will take center stage today, but there are a number of local races to watch in Illinois. This is a critical time for our community and the state legislature plays an important part in helping our community grow. Over the past couple of years the legislature has passed bills to increase patient access to life saving medications, add rare disease experts to our Medicaid Drug Utilization Review Board, and extend critical tax credits for our industry.

The races highlighted in this report were selected because the districts were won in 2018 by less than 3% of the vote, or the seat is open. Candidate responses on their top priorities for the most part focused on a few themes, the State’s response to COVID-19 and economic recovery, property tax relief and access to healthcare. Ethics reform/public corruption and public safety are also common issues for the candidates. 

iBIO does not provide endorsements or support candidates’ races or fundraisers. The information provided in this report derived from candidate websites, ilga.gov and from the Chicago Sun Times 2020 Illinois State house Candidate Questionnaires

Illinois State House

20th District

Northwest suburbs including Norridge, Park Ridge and Niles. Republican-held seat. Only district in the City of Chicago with a Republican incumbent. 

Incumbent: Brad Stephens Republican Michelle Darbro, Democrat
Background: The very popular Mayor of Rosemont Brad Stephens is facing his first re-election campaign for his seat. Serves on Approp-Elementary & Secondary Educ; Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, & IT; Health Care Licenses; Financial Institutions; Veterans’ Affairs; Mental Health committees.  Background: Firefighter and paramedic, Chicago Fire Department. BA in Environmental Studies, University of Chicago
Top Priorities include public safety, investment in workforce training and property tax relief. Top Priorities include women’s reproductive rights, property tax relief and more accessible health care. Supports increasing access to healthcare and prescription drugs. 
Candidate Website

https://repstephens.com

Candidate Website:

 https://www.darbroforrep.com

Key Endorsements: Chicago Sun Times,  Key Endorsements: Chicago Labor, AFL-CIO, Chicago Teachers

 

41st District

West suburbs of Naperville and Warrenville. Republican-held seat, won by 4% in 2018

Incumbent: Grant Wehrli, Republican Janet Yang Rohr, Democrat
Background Serves on the House Republican Leadership Team as Assistant Minority Leader. Minority spokesperson for the House Labor & Commerce, and Cities & Villages Committees, and as a member of the Executive, Appropriations-Capital, Appropriations-General Service, Public Utilities, Mental Health and Special Investigating Committees, and on the Local Government, Business and Industry Regulations, Commerce and Innovation, Job Growth, Preservation and Training, Minority/Disadvantage Analysis, Wage Policy and Study, and Workforce Development Subcommittees. Background: Director of Global Data at Morningstar. Naperville School District 203 Board Member and Lisle Township Precinct Democratic Committeeperson. MBA in Finance, Accounting and Entrepreneurship from University of Chicago Booth School of Business. 
Top Priorities includes property tax relief, ethics reform, environmental protection, and ensuring a non-discriminatory work environment for all Illinoisans.  Top Priorities: Property tax relief, economic growth & opportunities, education, and strengthening Illinois negotiating strength and influence, including negotiation for lower prescription drug costs. 
Candidate Website:

 https://repwehrli.com

Candidate Website: 

https://www.janetforillinois.com

Endorsements: Chicago Tribune Endorsements: Governor Pritzker, Chicago Sun Times, Daily Herald, 

 

45th District*

Northwest suburbs of Itasca, Bartlett and Bloomingdale. 45th House District Republican nominee Michael Camerer passed away in June, Seth Lewis has stepped into the Republican ticket. Lewis has run for office previously but will start behind in fundraising and timing. Democratic-held seat won by 1.8% in 2018, Republican leaning but will swing, district voted for Hillary Clinton, Jesse White and Susana Mendoza. 

Incumbent: Diane Pappas, Democrat Seth Lewis, Republican 
Background: Precinct Committeeman for Addison Township. Serves on Prescription Drug Affordability; Appropriations-General Service; Adoption & Child Welfare; Cities & Villages; Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, & IT; Election Process & Cybersecurity. Background: State Farm Agent holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from University of Iowa
Top Priorities include economic development, health care and property tax relief.  Top Priorities include infrastructure (storm water mitigation), Budget Stability, Pandemic relief (more support for local municipalities), Property taxes, STEM education (supporting grants and scholarships to keep STEM students in state colleges)
Candidate Website: https://www.dianeforstaterep.com Candidate Website: 

https://votesethlewis.com

Endorsements:  AFL-CIO, Illinois Federation of Teachers, Sierra Club Endorsements: Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune,  Daily Herald

 

47th District*

West suburbs of Elmhurst, Oak Brook, Hinsdale and Westmont. Republican-held seat, won by 3% in 2018.  Rep Mazzochi is an important voice on the Prescription Drug Affordability Committee. 

Incumbent: Deanne Mazzochi, Republican Jennifer Zordani, Democrat
Background: Life Sciences/Patent Litigation Attorney. Founding Partner, Rakoczy, Molino, Mazzochi, Siwik LLP. Background: Jennifer Zordani is a lawyer, Zordani Law (financial services, securities regulations and compliance for trading firms and traders). 
Top Priorities include addressing outdated commuter rail service, public corruption and 5G wireless. Also priorities are ending public corruption; economic recovery and growth; ethics reform; sound fiscal policy.

Mazzochi is passionate about protecting America’s innovation in the life sciences ecosystem and its access to patients

Top Priorities include small business financial assistance, ban on chemical pollutants and red light camera removal. Zordani was an outspoken community member against Sterigenics. Affordable access to healthcare and prescription drugs is also a priority, specifically “reigning in costs of prescription drugs”. Zordani has mentioned elderly community members complaining to her about prescription costs, and often attacks Mazzochi for her work with the pharmaceutical industry. 
Candidate Website: 

https://www.votemazzochi.com

Candidate Website: 

https://votezordani.com

Endorsements: Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Daily Herald Endorsements: Congressman Casten, Congressman Quigley, AFL-CIO, Illinois Teachers, Sierra Club

 

51st District

Lake Zurich, Libertyville, and Lake Barrington. Democratic-held seat, won by .8% in 2018

Incumbent: Mary Edly-Allen, Democrat Chris Bos, Republican
Background: Former teacher and co-founder of an educational non-profit, Foundation46, and a founding member of the Community Consolidated School District 46 Diversity Committee. Serves on Board of Directors of the Illinois Science Olympiad. Serves on Adoption & Child Welfare; Elem Sec Ed: School Curric Policies; Energy & Environment; Human Services; Mental Health; State Government Administration; Special Issues (ACSI) Committees. Background: Director of Develop for Reclaim13 and a Trustee for Ela Township. Bos has a B.A in Pastoral Studies from Northcentral University. 
Top Priorities include assistance for businesses amid COVID-19, mental health care and investment in community colleges and vocational trades.  Top Priorities include providing tax relief and eliminating corruption
Candidate Website: 

https://www.maryforil.com

Candidate Website: 

https://www.chrisbos.us

Endorsements: Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald, Lake County Farm Bureau, AFL-CIO, UAW, Sierra Club Endorsements: Chicago Sun Times, 

 

54th District

Palatine, rolling Meadows and Inverness. Republican-held seat, 2018 election was decided by only 43 votes. 

Incumbent: Tom Morrison, Republican Maggie Trevor, Democrat
Background: Former small business owner – residential and commercial disaster cleanup and restoration; 5th grade teacher; radio news broadcaster; B.A. in History, Hillsdale College, Hillsdale. Committee assignments: Appropriations-General Service (Republican Spokesperson); Personnel & Pensions; Insurance; Elem Sec Ed: Adm., Lic. & Charter (Republican Spokesperson); Energy & Environment; Human Services; Special Issues Subcommittee (ESE); Local Retirement System Subcommittee; Miscellaneous Issues Subcommittee; Pension Reform Subcommittee; Property Tax Relief Task Background: Principal and Owner of Trevor Research Services, a market research consulting services firm. Also serves on the Environmental Committee and Traffic Committee for the City of Rolling Meadows. Trevor has a Ph.D. in Political Science and a B.A. in Chemistry both from University of Chicago. 
Top priorities include pension reform, property tax relief and essential business reforms we need to grow the overall Illinois economy. Top Priorities include property tax relief, higher education funding and equal rights for LGBTQ people. Also will focus on affordable & accessible health insurance. 
Candidate Website:

 https://repmorrison54.com

Candidate Website:

https://maggietrevor4il54.net

Endorsements: Chicago Tribune,  Daily Herald Endorsements: Chicago Sun Times, AFL-CIO, Sierra Club

 

65th District

Geneva, St. Charles, and Rutland Township. Republican-held seat, won district with 4% of votes in 2018. 

Incumbent: Dan Ugaste, Republican Martha Paschke, Democrat
Background: Attorney Nyhan, Bambrick, Kinzie and Lowry Law Firm in Chicago, where he specializes in workers compensation defense. Committees served on Appropriations-Capital; Museums, Arts, & Cultural Enhancement; Labor & Commerce; Energy & Environment; Health Care Licenses; Special Investigating Comm.; Adoption & Child Welfare. Background: Currently Patient Intake Coordinator for a Psychology Practice, stay at home mom and former middle school social studies teacher and labor doula. Paschke holds a Masters Degree in teaching from Aurora University. 
Top Priorities include property tax relief, workers compensation reform and water project in Pingree Grove.  Top Priorities include mental health care, economic development and equitable school funding. Affordable access to health insurance and mental health services. 
Candidate Website:

https://repugaste.com

Candidate Website:

https://martha4il65.com

Endorsements: Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald,  Endorsements: Chicago Sun Times, Congressman Casten, AFL-CIO, Sierra Club

 

68th District

Rockford, Machesney Park, Loves Park, and Cherry Valley. Republican-held seat, won by less than 3% in 2018. 

Incumbent: John Cabello, Republican Dave Vella, Democrat
Background: Served 20 years as a police officer, the later as a detective in Rockford. Previously served as a Winnebago County Board Member for District 8 and currently works part-time for Stewart & Associates, private security and investigation services for regional businesses. Committees served on Appropriations-Capital; Appropriations-Public Safety (Republican Spokesperson); Transportation: Regulation, Roads; Labor & Commerce; Judiciary – Criminal; Qualifications Challenge Committee. Background: Attorney at Vella & Lund (criminal and civil law firm). Previously a public defender. Serves as an elected trustee for Rockford Township. 
Top priorities law enforcement, pension reform, property tax relief and essential business reforms we need to grow the overall Illinois economy. Top Priorities include K-12 Education, Crime and Jobs and the Economy. Affordable access to health insurance, assure Medicaid coverage and workplace sick leave. 
Candidate Website:

https://johncabello.com

Candidate Website:

https://davevella.com

Endorsements: NRA, Association of Fire Fighters,  Endorsements: Sierra Club, 

 

97th District

Plainfield and Oswego. Republican-held seat, won 2018 election by 1.8%

Incumbent: Mark Batinick, Republican Harry Benton, Democrat
Background: Commercial Real Estate Agent. 

Committee Assignments: Personnel & Pensions (Republican Spokesperson); International Trade & Commerce; Insurance; Health Care Licenses; Administrative and Substantive; Pension Reform Subcommittee.

Background: Union Ironworker for Local 444. Trustee for the village of Plainfield, Labor Caucus Director for the Young Democrats,Veteran’s Outreach of Illinois board of Directors. Political Director for Young Democrats of Will County. 
Legislative Priorities: Ending corruption. Enacting term limits. Putting the state on a stable budget path. Eliminating wasteful or unnecessary programs. Passing Stephanie’s Law which would make it harder for sex offenders to plea their way off of the sex offenders list. Top Priorities include economic development, trade and vocational programs and senior citizen’s concerns including lowering healthcare and prescription costs for residents.  
Candidate Website:

https://repbatinick.com

Candidate Website:

https://www.harrybenton.com

Endorsements: Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune,  Herald News,  Endorsements: AFL-CIO, Teamsters, Sierra Club

 

111th District*

Metro East including Alton, Bethalto, East Alton, Edwardsville, Elsah, Godfrey, Granite City, Hartford, Madison, Pontoon Beach, Roxana, South Roxana, and Wood River. Democratic-held seat, won 2018 election by just over 300 votes. 

Incumbent: Monica Bristow, Democrat Amy Elik, Republican
Background: Spent 14 years as President of the RiverBend Growth Association, an economic development association in Madison County. Board member for the American Cancer Society. Committees Agriculture & Conservation; Economic Opportunity & Equity (Vice-Chairperson); Human Services; Mental Health; Prescription Drug Affordability; Higher Education; Veterans’ Affairs; Negotiations Subcommittee (AGCS). Background: CPA, auditor and financial advisor. Currently serves as a Foster Township Trustee and previously served as a school board member with St Mary’s Caltholic School in Alton. 
Priorities include economic development and Mental Health Awareness. On the Prescription Drug Affordability, often voiced concern about the bills but would vote to move the bills out of committee. Supported insulin cap.  Priorities include education, protecting the 2nd amendment and tax relief 
Candidate Website:

https://bristowforrep.com

Candidate Website:

http://amyelik.com

Endorsements: Retired Teachers, NRA, TEamsters, Illinois Farm Bureau, IL- IRA Endorsements: Chicago Tribune

 

Illinois State Senate

25th District

Kane, Kendall and Dupage counties, including parts of Oswego and Batavia.
Incumbent: Open Seat – Historically Republican-held seat, most recently by Jim Oberweis 

State Rep. Karina Villa, Democrat Jeanette Ward, Republican
Background:  IL State Representative District 49.

Prior to being elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, Villa served on the West Chicago District 33 Board of Education since 2013. 

Karina earned a master’s degree in social work from Aurora University. She became a school social worker and has worked in the West Chicago and Villa Park school systems. 

 

Background: Product Manager for an International Chemical Company. M.S. Environmental Science and Health, University of Nevada, MBA, Northern Illinois University. Former U46 Board Member: Ward’s four years on the school board were at times controversial, prompted by her comments and stances on transgender students, religion, and curriculum that galvanized critics and supporters alike.
Top Priorities include essential workers’ safety in the workplace, schools and tax relief.

Previous Bills Sponsored: HB3493 (Prescription Drug Afford)

Top Priorities include pension reform, ethics reforms and repealing the Reproductive Health Act.
Campaign Website:

https://karinavilla.com

Campaign Website:

https://www.jeanette4senate.com

Endorsements: Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald Endorsements: Associated Builders and Contractor, IL-NRA

 

Illinois Congressional Races

13th District

Central and southeastern Illinois, including parts of Springfield, Bloomington and Champaign. Republican-held seat, won district by .8% in 2018. 

Incumbent: Rodney Davis, Republican Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, Democrat
Three-term congressman, serves on the House Committees on Administration, Agriculture, Transportation & Infrastructure and Administration. Serves are Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research.  Londrigan has worked as a Corps Member with Teach For America and as a non-profit leader. Londrigan often discusses a medical experience with her son who had a rare, critical reaction to a tick bite.
Priorities include increased funding for ALS, jobs, economy, government accountability Priorities include gun violence, ag economy, education and healthcare (universal healthcare, drug pricing, public option, strengthening Medicare). 
Campaign Website:

https://electrodney.com

Campaign Website:

https://www.betsydirksenlondrigan.com

Endorsements: Chicago Tribune Endorsements:

 

15th District

 Central and southwestern Illinois, including Paducah, Edwardsville, and Danville. Historically republican-held seat.

The retirement of Republican Rep. John Shimkus (an iBIO John W. Maitland Award Winner) creates a vacancy, but Illinois likely will lose a U.S. House seat after the 2020 census because of the Illinois Exodus of population, and the 15th District may be the likely selection. 

Mary Miller, Republican Erika C. Weaver, Democrat
Background: Mary graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a B.S. in Business Management and also completed graduate coursework in education. She received her teaching certification from the State of Illinois. Mary and her husband Chris raised a family on a budget and have run their Oakland-based family farm for the last forty years Background: Currently a lawyer for Coles County Public Defender’s office.  After spending part of her life homeless, Weaver completed a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, Sports, & Recreation from Eastern Illinois University and then, a Master’s degree in College Student Affairs. Weaver earned her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago, while working full-tim and commuting 184 miles. 
Top priorities:  agriculture, supporting regulatory reform, and championing policies that help bring manufacturing jobs back home. Top priorities: education, access to healthcare for rural communities, economy and jobs, agriculture
Campaign Website:

https://marymillerforcongress.com/

Campaign Website:

https://weaverforillinois.com/

Endorsements: Chicago Tribune Endorsements: Champaign County Young Dems, AFL-CIO

 

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