Two candidates for the Illinois House both describe themselves as independent thinkers who would trigger change in Springfield.
But they disagree on how effective the other would be.
Republican Jeanne Ives, a member of the Wheaton City Council and a tax adviser, is facing Democrat William Adams, an accountant from Wheaton, in the Nov. 6 election for a 2-year term to represent the 42nd District, which covers parts of Carol Stream, Lisle, Naperville, Warrenville, West Chicago, Wheaton and Winfield.
Ives blames the state's fiscal woes on "failed leadership" in state government, particularly that of House Speaker Michael Madigan, who has served in the leadership post for 28 of the last 30 years. Ives, who said she didn't personally know state GOP leaders prior to her run for office, said she would ask "tough questions" of leaders of both parties in Springfield.
"The policymakers determine the policy, and if you want to change the policy, you have to change the policymakers," she said.
Adams, who said he's running without Madigan's support, promised if he's elected to vote against Madigan as the House Democratic leader. Adams, who predicted the Democrats will retain their majority in the House, said he would work to "change the system" from within as a self-described "progressive" Democrat.
"Going in there and trying to beat down the wall of Mike Madigan is not going to do it," Adams said. "You've got to become the Trojan horse and go inside the wall and change it from within."
Ives said if the Democrats retain control, Adams' vote would mean "nothing because Mr. Madigan will be back in charge."
Both candidates said they support term limits.
Adams said he's only spent $4,000 on his campaign so far and hasn't gotten money from the state Democratic Party. Indeed, Adams and partner Lisa Cimaroli have contributed a total of $2,000 to his campaign fund, according to his most recent campaign finance disclosure statement available from the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Ives received a $500 contribution from House Republican Leader Tom Cross' campaign fund in June. She's received a total of $9,046.67 from the Illinois Liberty PAC since last November -- but only $771.67 of it has come since she defeated three challengers in the Republican primary last March.
The PAC is managed by Republican political consultant and WLS radio host Dan Proft.
Ives said she would resign from her seat on the city council if she wins. She said she would want the seat to be up for election, and not appointment, so she's currently talking with the city attorney to determine what date exactly she would need to step down for such a process to occur.