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posted: 10/17/2012 5:00 AM

Endorsement: Mussman over Lawson in state House District 56

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Democratic incumbent Michelle Mussman, completing her first term in the legislature, faces a credible challenge from Republican John Lawson in the race for Illinois House District 56. Both candidates are from Schaumburg and emphasize the urgency of solving the state's pension crisis, the need to bring state spending in line with expenses and the importance of improving the climate for business investment in Illinois. Lawson, a Roselle police officer, has served as Schaumburg Township assessor since 2004, and, like Mussman, has been active in the community. But Mussman's experience as a freshman, combined with her willingness to question the effect of the pension cost shift to local entities that her party leadership is promoting, has shown that she can be an effective lawmaker and maintain her independence. Given the power structure in state politics, that's a good combination to have among Democrats, so we endorse Mussman. That said, we are deeply disappointed in a campaign strategy Mussman has mounted suggesting Lawson would try to fatten his public pensions if he is elected. The Republican has unequivocally promised, including directly to our editorial board in Mussman's presence, to quit his police job if he is elected, and there is no reason not to take him at his word. Mussman should focus her attention on experience and the issues, where she has plenty to talk about. The 56th District includes Schaumburg and parts of Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Rolling Meadows, Hanover Park and Roselle.

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