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posted: 2/19/2014 1:01 AM

Endorsement: Willis in House District 77

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  • Kathleen Willis

    Kathleen Willis

The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Kathleen Willis' 2012 victory over 20-year Republican incumbent Skip Saviano stunned observers of the 77th state House District. After winning, Willis immediately declined a pension and got to work on her pledge to be the most accessible lawmaker in Springfield. In her first year, Willis has aimed for independence -- she broke with Democrats on the Elgin-O'Hare expansion vote, for instance -- while placing a high value on bipartisan cooperation. Her aisle seat in the House chamber is more than symbolic of this; she literally can reach across, and does. Willis introduced two bills that passed overwhelmingly, one that improves services for special needs students and another prohibiting sales of e-cigarettes to minors. Her ability to see a need and work to fill it with an attitude of cooperation is what Springfield needs more of. Willis' three terms on the Addison Elementary District 4 board gives her perspective on the needs of suburban schools. She voted in favor of the latest pension reform bill but sees the issue as a work in progress and would work toward more reforms that would yield faster savings for Illinois. Opponent Antonio "Tony" Favela, a Melrose Park zoning board member who recently finished law school, has the passion needed to be effective in office but offers few specifics on solving some of Illinois' biggest problems. We endorse Willis.

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