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For House districts 50, 52, 83, 96
Daily Herald Editorial Board
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Published: 10/22/2008 12:10 AM | Updated: 10/22/2008 7:15 PM

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House District 50

Voters will do well to send Republican Kay Hatcher to Springfield to replace retiring GOP Rep. Pat Lindner. Hatcher, of Yorkville, has a wealth of local-government experience, including service as a school board member, Kendall County Board member and president of the Kendall County Forest Preserve District. A marketing director and legislative liaison for a Crystal Lake senior services agency, she is smart, independent and intimately familiar with issues confronting state government. Democrat Mary Schneider, a successful advocate on stem cell research, is an energetic candidate who also is familiar with Illinois issues and demonstrates a compelling independent streak. Sandra Lezon is seeking the position on the Green Party ticket. But neither candidate can match the experience of Hatcher, whose campaign emanates strength and determination.

House District 52

Voters in House District 52 can hear ideological similarities between Mark Beaubien, the GOP representative for the past 12 years, and Richard Garling, a Democratic trustee from Island Lake. The difference is in the details. Beaubien sees the big picture and favors cutting red tape to bring new revenues and businesses to Illinois, while Garling, for example, advocates adding more layers of approval in a regional planning board. Beaubien, who is endorsed, understands the inner workings of government and the political game and his seasoned intelligence is in contrast with Garling's fire and frustration.

House District 83

In three terms in Springfield, Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia, a Democrat from Aurora, has made a name for herself as an energetic champion for her constituents on topics ranging from education to jobs to senior citizen services. But as an incumbent Democrat, she should also be on notice that she must use her credibility and seniority to influence her party's leadership. She is challenged by Republican Joan Solms, a retired lobbyist who espouses a no-nonsense approach to government and a staunch, agenda focusing on lower taxes, reduced government and conservative social issues. Chapa LaVia's hard work and success in representing local interests remain valuable assets for the district and merit her return - but with the recognition that much will be expected of her in helping get the state back on track in the coming term.

House District 96

Republican Darlene Senger and Democrat Dianne McGuire both are smart, proven leaders who would work hard in Springfield. Each tends to represent the platforms of their respective parties, and voters might be tempted to make their choice based on ideology alone. However, at a time when Democrats have failed in Springfield, voters must be especially judicious before building their numbers. Senger seems to understand the complexity of the issues she would face as a state representative. She understands how government works because of her experience on the Naperville City Council. While both have strengths, Senger is the better choice for the district.