The race for the Republican nomination for the state House District 62 seat features two Grayslake residents squaring off to challenge incumbent Democrat Sam Yingling in November.
Senior mortgage banker Ken Idstein, a longtime village planning and zoning commissioner and chamber of commerce board member, has an extensive list of endorsements from current and former local, state and federal officials. That support shows he has been chosen as having the best chance to beat Yingling, Idstein contends.
Financial adviser Adam Solano, past president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors in Illinois and Chicago, said he has a track record of leadership. He describes himself as "the little ball in the spray paint can mixing it up."
Both favor term limits for party leadership, oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use and say the state budget and pension debt are pressing issues. Both also bemoaned a political landscape that has weakened Illinois and is causing people to leave.
The responses are from candidate questionnaires and a joint endorsement interview. The 62nd District includes all or parts of Grayslake, Hainesville, the Round Lake towns, Lake Villa, Gurnee, Wauconda, Wildwood and Gages Lake.
"Our house needs to be defended," Solano said. "The taxes are attacking, the politics are cutting us off and the debt is closing in."
He said one of the biggest issues is pension reform. A pension is "not an opportunity to be rich but a guarantee to never be poor," he said in supporting a defined contribution plan using a deferred income annuity.
"I understand the dynamics," Solano said of why he could be an effective voice on the issue.
Idstein said all new state employees should be automatically enrolled in a 401(k)-style program.
He also said the state budget needs to be broken down into smaller components, with each voted on individually. Idstein suggested a 2 percent across-the-board cut.
"Spending needs to be controlled. Start there," he said.
Idstein also suggests rolling back the 32 percent state income tax increase.
Two years without a state budget has exacerbated a "crisis of trust" residents have for lawmakers, Solano said.
"As a citizen, I'm very frustrated it's (budget) is not policy focused, it's politically focused," Solano said. "They act like they have forever to solve these problems and people are selling their houses."
Fair district maps and term limits on leadership positions will restore some faith and help change the culture, he said.
Idstein said there has to be "some reasonable alternatives that have already been considered" for term limits on leaders and the redistricting system. He said he would work with other legislators to review and approve the best possible solutions.