Republicans in Illinois’ 23rd Senate District face a difficult choice between two well-known DuPage County politicians. Carole Pankau has served in the Senate since 2005 and before that spent 12 years in the state House, eight on the county board and eight as a Keeneyville school board member. Randy Ramey, recently elected DuPage County GOP chairman, has been a state representative since 2005 and has been active in Wayne Township politics for more than a decade. Although there are nuanced differences in some of their positions, both candidates promote similar issues — most notably a conservative approach to budgeting, repeal of the tax increase and pension reform. Ramey’s recent DUI arrest and conviction is certainly a concern, and Pankau’s camp is attempting to make much political hay from it, but he has handled that mistake so openly and thoroughly that it is less of an issue for us than his strident conservatism on such matters as immigration, gay rights and other social issues. We are encouraged to see Ramey maturing steadily as a lawmaker with an increasing ability to work with members of the opposition party, but in the end, we give the edge to Pankau as the candidate most likely to contribute to solutions to the state’s most pressing problems and the district’s most pressing needs. The 23rd District runs southeast from the Bartlett area to Villa Park, taking in parts of Carol Stream, Bloomingdale, Itasca and Wood Dale.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.