Endorsement: Salvi in Republican Senate primary
Even in a year when a red wave is expected, few consider Democrat Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates vulnerable in her bid for reelection to the U.S. Senate -- given the combination of a blue state, a large campaign war chest, a generally centrist brand and a compelling personal story.
But don't tell that to the field of seven Republicans who are competing in the June 28 primary to run against her.
It is a provocative and disparate field, and in saying that, we should take note of the perhaps surprising racial diversity that it represents too. The GOP struggles with a white-male stereotype, but the Republican ballot for Senate in Illinois includes three Blacks. In addition, two of the seven candidates are women.
We think there is a clear choice in this field: attorney Kathy Salvi of Mundelein, and we give her our endorsement.
Salvi, a member of one of Lake County's most prominent Republican families, offers the party a mainstream candidate with undeniably conservative chops who could mount a credible campaign against Duckworth in the fall.
In fact, she is the only candidate out of the seven who offers that important combination.
Do we wish she would moderate her views a bit? It would improve her chances and more importantly, better serve the republic.
But while her conservatism may be less compromising than we prefer and that Illinois voters require, we appreciate her commitment to the kind of civil debate that used to mark the nation's politics.
Particularly today, that is a valuable characteristic in a candidate of either party.
There are other likable candidates on the ballot. Pastor Anthony W. Williams of Chicago is both thoughtful and sensitive, but his campaign doe not appear to be viable. Casey Chlebek of Lake Forest for the most part espouses common sense views, although we are troubled by gaps that include a myopic perspective on Ukraine.
When we say the field is provocative, that isn't necessarily a good thing. It includes Bobby Piton, a conspiracy-minded candidate of anger from Geneva who seems to believe that most of the Democratic establishment belongs in prison; and other eager supporters of the Big Lie such as Peggy Hubbard of Belleville, who seems to wonder what the fuss is about the Jan. 6, 2021 assault on the nation's Capitol.
Concerned voters need be warned: Hubbard, who finished a solid second in the GOP's Senate primary two years ago, conceivably could win this primary if Republicans aren't paying attention since she is the only downstate candidate in the field.
The other two candidates: Jimmie Lee Tillman II of Chicago is engaging and energetic but too willing to embrace unsubstantiated election fraud claims. Broadcaster Matt Dubiel of Naperville has a strong campaign style that would acquit him well in a debate with Duckworth, but behind it is a dogmatism that embraces America First except when it comes to America's interests in response to the Capitol assault we all witnessed on TV.
Republicans, and the country, clearly have better alternatives in this field. The best of them is Kathy Salvi.