For House Dist. 62, Republican: Cole
Challenger Paul Mitchell, 47, of Hainesville, urges voters to support him for "a comprehensively conservative vision" - and points to his staunch stance as an abortion opponent - versus the more moderate incumbent, Sandy Cole of Grayslake.
But there is also a difference in experience, and it is here that Cole earns our endorsement.
Cole, 56, has 20 years of decision making on the Lake County Board and other agencies.
She has spent the three years since taking the district seat learning the ropes of governance at the state legislative level.
True, she has not written any important legislation, but that's not surprising given her party battles a large Democratic majority.
She has shown support for transparency laws and ethics legislation, and that's important given the current climate in Springfield.
Mitchell, a computer industry customer database developer and consultant, is a thoughtful candidate, who also backs ethics reform, but has no elected or government office experience. He would face the same minority party constraints while starting his own legislative learning curve.
The candidates hold similar views on several key issues facing the General Assembly.
Both oppose tax increases and prefer a zero-based budget, and eliminating inefficient programs to solve state budget woes.
Both say jobs and business development are key district issues. Mitchell offers road projects (a Route 53 north extension and improvements on routes 45, 83 and 120) as important; Cole thinks creating a technology zone would help.
Both support state pension reform, including creation of a two-tier system for new hires.
House District 62 includes all or parts of Grayslake, Gurnee, Lake Villa, Third Lake and the Round Lake area.