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updated: 3/14/2014 5:09 AM

DuPage County is a major GOP primary focus

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  • Dan Proft

      Dan Proft

 
 

Campaign spending by conservative talk show host Dan Proft's Liberty Principles committee has exceeded $200,000 in two DuPage County Illinois House races, a huge amount in races for seats at the Statehouse.

Proft has been backing teacher Keith Matune of Downers Grove against state Rep. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove and attorney Peter Breen of Lombard against state Rep. Sandra Pihos of Glen Ellyn.

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Proft filed letters in each race Thursday saying his committee had spent more than $100,000 on mail and other advertising in each race, an amount that lets the candidates raise money above typical Illinois contribution limits.

Taking limits off with a few days before Tuesday's primary might not matter much, but it shows how heated the two races have become.

Sandack and Matune have traded barbs over Sandack's vote for same-sex marriage late last year and Matune's arrests in the early 1990s.

Breen and Pihos have done battle over Pihos' vote against pension benefit cuts.

DuPage dueling

Those two races have helped make DuPage County a hotbed of activity for Tuesday's primary.

It's also home to two of the four Republican candidates running to take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster for Congress.

It's home to a candidate in each major statewide GOP primary, for Senate, governor and Illinois treasurer, as well as another Illinois House race, where incumbent Republican Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton is challenged by Adam Johnson of Warrenville.

We're here for you

It can be tough to keep track of all this stuff, especially on Election Night as you try to read the tiny words in that little scroll to see who's winning what and where.

Starting when the polls close Tuesday -- and probably before -- we'll have live, ongoing updates on the big races across the suburbs at DailyHerald.com.

If Twitter is your game, you can search the hashtag #DHElection for all our coverage and follow me at @DHStatehouse.

And if you need a recap on what has happened so far in each race, that's easily found at our DailyHerald.com election page, too.

They're mostly all great ...

In backing state Sen. Kirk Dillard for governor, the Illinois State Rifle Association's political arm worked hard to also praise two of his opponents.

"By no means is Senator Dillard any bigger of a supporter of gun rights than Senator (Bill) Brady or Treasurer (Dan) Rutherford," the announcement says. "However, we believe that Senator Dillard's broader appeal among voters will push him past Gov. Pat Quinn in the general election."

Quinn tried to rewrite the law allowing Illinoisans to carry concealed handguns in public. Lawmakers overrode him.

The group criticized Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner for not attending its annual rally at the Illinois Capitol, saying, "Rauner offers little to Illinois hunters and sportsmen."

Two homes, one exemption

"I have been a resident of Illinois for 67 years, my entire life. I have lived in the same home in Sugar Grove for 36 years. I am and always have been a resident of Illinois."

That's a statement from state Sen. Jim Oberweis, who was in Florida this week visiting his wife in the days before Tuesday's primary election.

Oberweis and his wife claim a primary residence property tax exemption on their Florida condo and don't claim a similar exemption on his home in Sugar Grove.

Some candidates in the past have faced trouble when they claim tax breaks like that on multiple houses. Oberweis says his Sugar Grove house is his primary residence, even though he doesn't claim the tax break.

Two-pronged

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office has asked for an extension in its appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court of a ruling that blocked the creation of a controversial new Lake County election commission.

Madigan's office tends to appeal when state laws are struck down, so the Illinois Supreme Court might eventually hear this one.

Lawmakers last year as part of a larger elections proposal created a new commission to handle elections in Lake County, much to the chagrin of many officials there. A county court blocked it, though, and Lake County Clerk Willard Helander's office will be handling the primary.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Pamela Althoff, a McHenry Republican, is trying to push legislation that could eliminate the new government and render the court case moot. It's already been approved by the Illinois House, and a spokeswoman for Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says it'll get a hearing.

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