One candidate has been in elected office since the late 1980s.
The other is a political newcomer, yet has managed to rack up major endorsements from the local Republican establishment.
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The GOP primary election for the newly drawn ">46th House District may come"> down to a race about experience and qualifications, since both candidates say they agree on most issues.
Dan Kordik, a Villa Park attorney who has been York Township clerk since 2005, is facing off against John "Chip" Humes, a 29-year-old funeral director from Addison, to be the Republican nominee for the 46th District, which covers parts of Villa Park, Addison, Glendale Heights and Carol Stream. The winner of the March 20 GOP primary will face Democrat Deborah Conroy of Elmhurst in the November general election.
In a recent Daily Herald endorsement interview, Kordik, 52, pointed to his experience in elective office, educational background in accounting and community involvement. He was a member of the Villa Park Elementary District 45 board from 1988 to 1995 and the village's planning and zoning commission from 1999 to 2010. He's also been a Republican committeeman since 1994.
Humes, who owns Humes Funeral Home in Addison, said his age isn't a negative in the election, and thinks voters will look to his experience in the private sector. He is currently president of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association and is a former president of the Addison Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He also was a firefighter/paramedic in Addison and Carol Stream, and for the Glenside Fire Protection District, which largely covers Glendale Heights.
"I think my youth shows the engagement," Humes said. "I think people are sick of the way things normally work in Springfield. I think they are ready for a fresh face who is engaged and ready to fight."
Though new to the political game, Humes has sizable political muscle behind his campaign, having received endorsements from House Minority Leader Tom Cross, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, State's Attorney Bob Berlin and State Rep. Randy Ramey, who is the county's Republican party chairman. Humes is also backed by State Rep. Dennis Reboletti, the incumbent in the 46th District, but who is now running for the 45th District after the recent remapping process.
Humes said working on the campaign of county board member Don Puchalski "opened doors" to meeting people, but he said he won't be beholden to anyone if elected -- particularly Cross.
"I have a lot of friends," Humes said. "(But) I fully expect I will cross them on a vote someday. I don't think people when they endorse you expect you to be their vote."
Kordik said Humes received more endorsements because he announced his candidacy earlier -- in August. But Kordik says he has support, too.
"I'm the one with the experience, but his support is coming from the top down," Kordik said. "Mine's coming from the citizenry up, and I think I prefer that."
Though Hume has lived in the 46th District before the remap, he's now in the 77th District. He says he will move to the 46th if he wins election.
However, he maintains that as both a small-business owner and Teamster, he's able to identify with the residents of the district, which he said is "heavily blue collar."
"We're both running for the Illinois House of Representatives. You are supposed to be representative of the district you make up," Humes said. "I think my background in the diversity of it, makes me more relatable to the average voter and makes me more representative of the district, and I mean that with all due respect."
Kordik said he chose to "plant roots" in the district, and "wouldn't have to move my family for political reasons" if he won.