If elected state representative for the 45th House District, Deborah O'Keefe Conroy says she will work full time on behalf of constituents something she claims the man who currently holds the seat is not doing.
Conroy, an Elmhurst Democrat, is challenging incumbent state Rep. Dennis Reboletti, an Elmhurst Republican, in the Nov. 2 election. She says his job as a lawyer stops him from serving the district full time.
"My personal biggest issue for running is to bring government back to the people," Conroy said. "I feel very strongly that we need a full-time legislator (and) I feel that Dennis is not a full-time legislator. I think that Dennis also has a law firm (where) he practices."
Reboletti says he does practice law part-time.
"My first and foremost priority is to the people of this district and to that job," Reboletti said. "I do practice law on a part-time basis, but it does not impact my ability to represent my constituents, or impact my ability to discharge my duty as a state representative."
When the campaign season began, Reboletti was listed as a lawyer in the firm of Serpe, Dizonno, Reboletti and Associates, which has offices in Arlington Heights, Itasca and Maywood, and specializes in representing clients in cases of DUI, traffic violations, felonies and criminal matters, according to its website.
By early October, Reboletti was removed from the firm's name on its website, but was still listed in other places on the site. A representative of the firm who answered the phone told the Daily Herald Reboletti still works there.
Reboletti said he is transitioning from working with partners Serpe and Dizonno to running an independent practice.
"I still do practice. I'm in the process of moving from that firm," Reboletti said. "I'm actually going to (end) my association with the other two attorneys."
He said his work as a lawyer is part-time and does not create any conflicts with his duties as a state representative for the 45th House District, which covers all or part of Addison, Bensenville, Elmhurst, Itasca, Lombard, Villa Park and Wood Dale.
Conroy, who is a mother of four, an artist and a member of the Elmhurst Unit District 205 school board, said citizens deserve representation from someone who will devote all their working time to the job.
"I think that part of the problem is that so many legislators, not Dennis personally, but many legislators have personal agendas and they have other jobs and I think that we need more representation on a full-time basis," Conroy said. "I think our constituents deserve that."
Reboletti said working as a lawyer and a legislator helps him understand the challenges faced by constituents who are working two jobs.
"I am a full-time legislator," he said. "When I talk to people in the district that work one full-time job and work a part-time job, it doesn't make their full-time job not a full-time job."