Two candidates hoping to secure the Democratic nomination for the 14th Congressional District share concerns over the county's health care, but differ on other issues, such as gun rights and campaign financing.
Dennis Anderson, 61, of Gurnee, and Jonathan Farnick, 43, of Woodstock, will square off Tuesday for the right in the November election to face Randy Hultgren, a Winfield Republican seeking another term.
Both Anderson and Farnick believe changes are needed for Medicare and Medicaid.
Anderson, a retired public health researcher, believes Medicare and Medicaid can be tweaked to cut costs, but "the real savings lie in restructuring the health care system."
Farnick, a computer systems consultant, also opposes increasing the eligibility age from 65 to 67 and actually wants all to have access to Medicare -- either through the government or a buy-in program.
The two differ on whether Illinois should implement concealed-carry laws. With Wisconsin now allowing concealed carry, Illinois is only state in the union without this right for residents.
Although it is a state issue, Farnick favors allowing concealed carry for gun owners that have a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card. "I'm very hard-pressed to put restrictions on gun ownership for legal citizens," he said.
Anderson opposes concealed-carry laws for Illinois. He's worried that innocent bystanders could be placed in harm's way. "My concern is primarily with having guns in public places," he said.
The candidates also differ in their approach to accepting campaign contributions.
According to the Federal Election Commission, Farnick has not spent any money on his campaign through Feb. 29, 2012, which was the deadline for the most recent campaign contribution disclosure period.
Farnick said even if he wins the nomination and the state's Democratic leadership offers to help his campaign, he'd turn down money and tell the party to give it to townships and other groups within the 14th District.
"We need to get money out of politics," said Farnick, who added the only money he's spent on his campaign is for gasoline to travel to candidate forums and to notarize his nominating petitions. "I will not accept a dime from anyone. I want your vote, not your money."
According to federal officials, Anderson has raised $40,300 from November 2011 through Feb. 29, but $25,000 was a personal loan. Anderson spent $30,995 and has $9,304 left. He says he's diversified his monetary donors through recent fundraisers.
Contrast both of these candidates to Hultgren, who raised $816,902 since Jan. 1, 2011, and spent $659,650 through Feb. 29, according to the FEC. He had $163,026 left in his war chest as of Feb. 29.
The district encompasses parts of Kane, DuPage, DeKalb, Will, Lake, McHenry, Kendall, Whiteside, Lee and Bureau counties.