Democratic incumbent Michael Noland and Republican challenger Cary Collins both are campaigning on the idea that they will stand up to their parties in the state Senate when it is best for residents of the 22nd District.
Noland tells voters to look at his record since he was elected to the position in 2007, while Collins points to his experience on the Hoffman Estates village board when claiming his reputation of independence.
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In a Daily Herald editorial board endorsement interview, Noland spoke of his commitment to reform, be it for campaign finance, education funding, budgets or ethics -- whether that was in line with his party or not.
"I've maintained a rather independent tenure in Springfield and have not hesitated when I felt the need to challenge party leadership on policy and have always advocated for reform in every regard," Noland said.
Collins has given Noland partial credit for opposing Democratic Party leaders but still paints himself as the truly independent candidate. He said he is willing to go against the insider politicians he blames for many of the state's problems, including fellow Republicans who he believes are too easygoing.
"I'm a hotheaded Irishman from Gary, Ind., and not afraid to raise my voice," Collins said. "I think we have to speak up. The Republicans down there have become very docile."
As a trustee in Hoffman Estates, Collins said, he spoke out against things he thought were wrong and wasn't afraid to be the only one talking.
He believes even as a freshman Republican in Springfield he would be able to draw attention and provide leadership.
In terms of his Senate record, Noland said he voted "no" to his party on borrowing, "no" on congressional redistricting, "no" on cuts to social services and "no" on continued unbalanced budgets.
He calls himself a leader on term limits.
Collins names his top campaign issues as changing the culture of politics in Illinois and instituting two-term limits for legislators, fixing the pension system and making Illinois a more business-friendly state.
Noland names job creation, tax relief and government reform in ethics and campaign contributions as his top issues.
The 22nd state Senate district covers portions of Elgin, Carpentersville, East Dundee, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, South Elgin and Streamwood.