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Our picks for Illinois senate, house
Daily Herald Editorial Board
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Published: 10/21/2008 12:04 AM

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Senate District 21

State Sen. Dan Cronin, 48, of Elmhurst, has 14 years experience representing this predominantly DuPage County district. We think Cronin, who also has served in the Illinois House, is a strong force in Springfield for the minority party and for his constituents and recommend he be re-elected on Nov. 4.

Cronin is well-versed in the issues facing the state. He's also right when he expresses his frustration with the Springfield logjam caused by internal Democratic battles led by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, Senate Majority Leader Emil Jones and House Speaker Michael Madigan. We believe Cronin, who also is chairman of the DuPage County GOP, will continue to fight the status quo that is grinding the General Assembly to a halt. But he also needs to reach across the aisle to try to get the state moving again on key issues such as a capital projects bill rather than worrying about such things as a recall effort.

Cronin's opponent, A. Ghani, 71, of Oak Brook, is well-intentioned but we do not agree with his views on removing local control of education, for example, and believe he would be an ineffective legislator.

Senate District 42

Aurora resident Linda Holmes, 49, is one of a few suburban Democrats who joined the Senate in 2006 after edging out Republican Terri Ann Wintermute, 50, of Bolingbrook by less than 3,000 votes. Wintermute is making a second run for the 42nd Senate District that includes all or parts of Aurora, North Aurora, Plainfield and Naperville.

Both women know the district; both served the community before seeking state office. Holmes has tended to follow her party's talking points, but Democrats have solved none of the state's major problems. We support Wintermute, holding her to her vow to speak up and bring change and balance.

House District 41

Republican Bob Biggins of Elmhurst faces a challenge from Green Party candidate Kevin O'Connor, a 24-year-old from LaGrange Park. O'Connor has a conversational understanding of the issues, generally taking his positions from the Green Party platform. Biggins demonstrated terrible judgment and made a serious mistake when he got behind the wheel after having too much to drink. He pleaded guilty to DUI in July and apologized for his mistake.

Biggins' strength is an understanding of fiscal issues, which could benefit the state as tough economies bring tough choices. While we like O'Connor's enthusiasm, we believe Biggins' background in banking could serve the state well at this time. For the 41st District, Biggins is endorsed.

House Districts 45, 95

Freshmen lawmakers Franco Coladipietro of Bloomingdale and Mike Fortner of West Chicago arrived in Springfield at a tough time to be Republican.

In the 45th House district, Coladipietro set out to make a difference by sponsoring legislation that would benefit local agencies such as the DuPage Forest Preserve District and law enforcement. Democrat Jim Hagerty of Roselle understands the issues but fails to distinguish himself. It would be a mistake to replace a hardworking newcomer with a weak Democrat who could fall under the spell of failed leadership. Coladipietro is endorsed.

In the 95th House district, Fortner brings many ideas and a keen understanding of local government, transportation and science. He faces a challenge from Green Party candidate Gerard Schmitt, who would not respond to invitations to participate in the endorsement process. Fortner is clearly the best choice for this district.