As Democratic state Sen. Linda Holmes campaigns for re-election in the 42nd District, she is promising to apply her fact-finding skills and willingness to work toward solutions to the state's problems with finances, pensions, taxes and the business climate.
Her opponent, Republican Peter Hurtado of Plainfield, is pledging to be a more fiscally responsible legislator who will represent community groups and Latino voters whom he says have been "neglected."
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Holmes and Hurtado are squaring off in the Nov. 6 election for a 4-year term representing the 42nd District, which includes parts of Aurora, Naperville, North Aurora, Montgomery, Oswego Township and Boulder Hill.
Holmes said her ability to "be open-minded and listen" allows her to work across the aisle with Republicans and accomplish positive changes for her district, such as helping Aurora use the state's River Edge Redevelopment Zone Investment tax credit to build RiverEdge Park and co-sponsoring a new unemployed veterans' tax credit.
"It's always been curiosity and fact-finding," said Holmes, 53, of Aurora. "It's doing all the background work and doing all the research to find out facts that I think has always been fascinating to me."
Hurtado, 53, does not live in the district and would need to move within six months if elected. He said he is running in the 42nd District instead of his home district for the chance to represent a more concentrated Hispanic population.
"The new 42nd District is closer to what I believe," said Hurtado, a small-business owner and Plainfield Park District commissioner who was born in Peru. "A lot of Hispanics live in the Aurora area and I think I have a lot of roots there. So that's why I'm running in that district."
Hurtado criticized state budgeting practices and said he would be "more fiscally responsible" than Holmes and "more involved in the community." He said the state has a spending problem that can be fixed by budgeting with hard numbers instead of revenue assumptions and by removing "stupid spending."
Holmes said the process of "budgeting for results" the state has been using the past two years is on the right track to producing more financial stability in the future.