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 Senate candidates:
Primary Endorsements 2012: Illinois State Senate Part II
33rd District: Republican Primary: Karen McConnaughay vs. Cliff Surges. McConnaughay, the Chairwoman of the Kane County Board, has vastly superior experience than her opponent. McConnaughay is endorsed.
34th District: Democratic Primary: Dan Lewandowski vs. Steve Stadelman vs. Marla Wilson. Lewandowski has more thoughtful and firm views on public policy than his opponents. Lewandowski is endorsed.
35th District: Republican Primary: Dave Syverson vs. Christine Johnson. Long-time incumbent Senator Syverson is a solid conservative with the courage to take tough votes, even during an election campaign, which benefit the broader public interest. Syverson is endorsed.
36th District: Democratic Primary: Mike Boland vs. Mike Jacobs. Flamboyant, aggressive, in touch with his constituents, and a chip off the old block–his father ex-State Senator Denny Jacobs. Incumbent Senator Jacobs is endorsed.
38th District: Democratic Primary: Christine Benson vs. Tom Ganiere vs. Kevin Kunkel. Ganiere is the most honest candidate that voters have on the question of taxes. Ganiere is endorsed.
46th District: Democratic Primary: Dave Koehler vs. James K. Polk vs. Marvin Bainter. Koehler is a solid progressive, a solid leader, and a solid champion for the 99%. Koehler is enthusiastically endorsed.
49th District: Republican Primary: Gary Fitzgerald vs. Tony Giles vs. Garrett Peck vs. Brian Smith. This is a close call between Fitzgerald, 62, and Peck, 33. Fitzgerald has the edge on experience, a priority for this publication. But both Peck’s experience and youth work in his favor. Peck is endorsed.
50th District: Republican Primary: Steve Dove vs. Sam McCann vs. Gray Noll. A devoted Tea Party conservative, incumbent Senator McCann faithfully represents the views of his constituents. McCann is preferred.
52nd District: Republican Primary: Chapin Rose vs. Tom Pliura. Experienced, intelligent, dedicated are the attributes that define incumbent State Rep. Rose who is looking to move up to the senate. Rose is enthusiastically endorsed.
53rd District: Republican Primary: Jason Barickman vs. Shane Cultra. State Rep. Barickman is endorsed because he is not Shane Cultra.
57th District: Democratic Primary: James Clayborne, Jr. vs. Wyatt Frazer. Incumbent Senator Clayborne is a thoughtful, well-liked leader. Clayborne is endorsed.
59th District: Democratic Primary: Gary Forby vs. Fred Kondritz. Incumbent Senator Forby is a survivor. Additionally, he consistently reflects the views of Southern Illinois in the Senate. Forby is endorsed.
59th District: Republican Primary: Mark Minor vs. Ken Burzynski. No endorsement.