In the race for the Republican nomination for Kane County Board chairman, Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns and state Sen. Chris Lauzen drew a hard line on what type of Republican each of them is Wednesday night at the Urban Grille in Geneva.
Before an audience invited by the Kane County Young Republicans, Lauzen cast himself as a "traditional conservative," while Burns said he takes a more moderate approach that will help Republicans win when it comes time for the entire county to vote.
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And as with just about every encounter between the two so far, there was no pulling punches.
"I'm pro-life; my opponent is pro-choice," Lauzen said. "I'm pro-gun rights, including concealed carry; (he is) pro-gun control. I'm in favor of one man, one woman as the traditional definition of marriage; (he is) pro-homosexual civil union. I opposed red light cameras; (he is) in favor of red light cameras. I am an unambiguous conservative. I have never been a Democratic precinct committeeman.
"And by the way, I can't afford a big bus."
Lauzen drew some chuckles for that comment referring to the bus with a large picture of Burns on the sides that the Geneva mayor is using to tour the county during the campaign.
Burns wasn't laughing.
"The fact of the matter is, I'm not appealing to just the base," Burns said of his Republican credentials. "I'm appealing to all of Kane County. Believe it or not, the chairman has to serve all of Kane County. In fact, what Mr. Lauzen has just stated underscores what Mr. Lauzen represents -- divide the county, represent only those who think like you, and let the others fend for themselves. That's not me."
Other sparring included Lauzen's continued questioning of Burns' resume for the job. In turn, Burns came out stronger than previously seen in hammering Lauzen's record in the state legislature. Burns said Lauzen has spent "two decades nearly 200 miles away from Kane County, receiving more than $1 million in salary and a generous pension, but accomplishing very little in terms of improving the quality of life in Kane County."
The primary is March 20.