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 III
78th District: Democratic Primary: Camille Lilly vs. Michael Nardello. This district straddles both Chicago and the suburbs, and appointed State Rep. Lilly is popular in both. Lilly is endorsed.
81st District: Republican Primary: Steve Sandack vs. Debbie Boyle. Incumbent State Senator Sandack is now running for this open House seat. In the primary against Boyle, Sandack has won the backing of both the National Rifle Association and the Illinois Sierra Club. Sandack gives everyone something to cheer about. Sandack is endorsed.
82nd District: Republican Primary: Jim Durkin vs. Laura Reigle. Durkin is a solid, strong, bright conservative with an open mind. He is also a class act in Springfield. Durkin is enthusiastically endorsed.
84th District: Democratic Primary: Alex Arroyo vs. Carole Cheney vs. Stephanie Kifowitz. No endorsement.
88th District: Republican Primary: Keith Sommer vs. Steve Perry. Sommer is a steady and reliable lawmaker. Sommer is endorsed.
90th District: Republican Primary: Liandro Arellano vs. Tom Demmer vs. Chet Olson vs. Daniel Sidmore. Demmer, 25, is a Lee County board member and magna cum laude from the University of Dayton. He’s bright and experienced. Demmer is endorsed.
96th District: Democratic Primary: Sam Cahnman, Sue Scherer, Winston Taylor, Jared Perry, and Dennis Shackelford. The usual political mud is being heaved back forth in this race. Taylor’s mud is preferred. Taylor is grudgingly endorsed.
98th District: Republican Primary: Robert Kalnicky vs. Janet Silosky. Fountaindale Library Board Vice President Kalnicky is preferred.
102nd District: Republican Primary: Adam Brown vs. Robert Roman. There is no grey matter with Brown. He is only black and white. Brown is endorsed.
106th District: Republican Primary: Tom Bennett vs. Brian Gabor vs. Josh Harms vs. Scott McCoy vs. Richard Thomas. This is an easy choice. Pontiac Mayor McCoy has the necessary experience and independence to be a good lawmaker. McCoy is enthusiastically endorsed.
107th District: Paul Evans vs. Charles Meier vs. Don Weber. Appointed State Rep. Evans has made no serious missteps during his relatively brief tenure in Springfield. Evans is endorsed.
110th District: Roger Eddy vs. Kevin Garner vs. Brad Hollbrook. This primary has been a poster-child for the proxy war being waged by Tea Party Republicans bent on purging GOP ranks of thoughtful, experienced and intelligent GOP lawmakers in favor of card-carrying, flat-earth society members. The only qualified candidate in this race, incumbent State Rep. Eddy, has withdrawn. Eddy is endorsed.