Venture and Harris endorsed for the 43rd Senate seat
In the Democratic primary race for Illinois Senate District 43, Eric Mattson, a Joliet firefighter, will face Rachel Ventura, a member of the Will County Board.
Mattson currently holds the 43rd Senate seat after being appointed due to the May resignation of Sen. John Connor.
Ventura calls the appointment carefully orchestrated and designed to give Mattson an advantage in the June 28 primary.
Mattson counters that it was done within the boundaries of the law and says she thinks the move was fair.
Mattson's No. 1 priority is to address the mental health crisis and help people having trouble getting the treatment they need.
Ventura's top priority is addressing climate change.
Both are in agreement on the larger issues facing Illinois, such as the pension crisis, controlling spending and keeping businesses in Illinois.
When reaching out to the candidates to participate in endorsement interviews, Ventura replied promptly.
Mattson was less responsive. Multiple calls, emails and social media messages were not returned and this left us wondering whether he is equally unresponsive to constituents.
We found Ventura's responses to our questions to be complete and well thought-out. She is endorsed in the Democratic primary
For the Republican primary, Diane Harris, a Joliet library trustee, will face Michelle Lee, a Joliet Junior College trustee.
Harris and Lee are in agreement on many issues and hope to flip the 43rd Senate seat from traditionally Democratic to Republican.
Both candidates have Democratic backgrounds but are strongly in the Republican fold now.
The top issue for Harris is what she considers the over-taxation of Illinois residents.
Lee's top issue is the children of Illinois and trying to fix the problems we are leaving for them. One area where they are of differing opinions is on the issue of abortion.
While both candidates are pro-life, Lee believes in an exception in cases of rape and incest. Harris believes there should be no exceptions.
Another area where they differ is on the use of marijuana tax money.
Lee would like to see it used specifically to fund the pensions. Harris believes that municipalities should have more say in how that money is used.
Both Harris and Lee are passionate about what they would bring to Springfield if elected. We find that Harris' political experience and her background in finance distinguish her candidacy. She is endorsed.