Endorsement: Murphy for Illinois Senate in 28th District
Park Ridge City Clerk Sal Raspanti says he decided to run for the Illinois Senate partly because it is good to have contested elections and incumbent Democrat Laura Murphy of Des Plaines did not appear to have an opponent for the second election in a row.
The sprawling district -- taking in parts of Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Elk Grove Village, Glenview, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Niles, Rosemont and Schaumburg -- leans solidly Democratic.
But this really is a contest between two worthy candidates,
Raspanti has been involved in local politics in Park Ridge for years, as a member of the park board, then the city's planning and zoning commission, a member of the city council and finally now as city clerk.
Like many Republicans, his campaign is focused on reducing crime, keeping a lid on taxes and improving the state's economy. But he also would put a big priority on education.
He offers a refreshing approach of centrist conservatism and does not engage in the kind of misinformation and conspiracy theories that have sullied other Republicans.
Under other conditions, we would be tempted to endorse him.
But Murphy has grown to a level of leadership in the Illinois Senate that suburban voters would be ill-advised to dismiss. The Park Ridge native and former Des Plaines alderman is thoughtful, hardworking and experienced and as deputy majority leader, she is in a position to influence legislation and the direction of state government.
Her focus tends to emphasize the methodical work that keeps the state moving but without much fanfare. Beyond that, she has been a moderating influence on legislation and helped push for reforms at the Illinois Toll Highway Authority.
We would like to see her use her influence more dramatically -- for example, to help solve some of the problems with the SAFE-T Act and to strengthen Springfield's ethics measures even further.
Murphy receives our endorsement in the hope that she gets a chance to do that.