In Illinois state government, some topics seem to linger -- especially the trickiest ones like creating a new process to draw legislative maps.
The candidates for state House in the 42nd District say progress can be made in moving the state forward, but they have different ideas on how to address such contentious issues.
Republican incumbent Jeanne Ives, for example, says it takes a dedication to policy above rhetoric and a willingness to expose the political games lawmakers play.
Her Democratic challenger, Kathleen Carrier of Carol Stream, meanwhile, says moving forward requires new voices and a new approach.
Ives, 51, of Wheaton, told the Daily Herald during an endorsement interview that it can be "depressing" to focus on setting fair policies when others seem stuck calling names and making messes. But she's ready to continue her policy focus for a third term after first being elected in 2012.
"I feel like there's some momentum," she said. "I just know what it takes to go down there and be 'on' and inquisitive all the time and ask the questions so you get the answers that need to come out. And I'm willing to do that."
A push for an independent group to create legislative maps is being stalled largely by one person and his power grab, Ives said.
"There's nothing stopping us from having a redistricting referendum other than (Speaker) Mike Madigan and his Democrats," she said. "He likes to be the map-drawer."
Ives said Madigan is promoting "chaos" in the budget process so his party can win back the governor's office in 2018 and maintain control over how state House and Senate district boundaries are drawn. She said it's these types of backroom motivations that voters need to be informed about.
"We need to educate people about the hypocrisy," Ives said.
Carrier, 60, said she also supports an amendment to change how legislative districts are shaped.
"If you have an independent group that does the drawing of the maps, nobody could cry foul," Carrier said.
She said she'd be willing to vote against her party leadership, but not necessarily to engage in a fight about the issue. Collaboration is her preferred approach.
"My intent is to reach across the aisle and try to create dialogue," Carrier said. "We need to look at the things that we agree on and start with that to move forward."
Carrier is looking to unseat Ives in the 42nd House District, which covers all or parts of Wheaton, Winfield, Carol Stream, Warrenville, Lisle, West Chicago, Naperville and Woodridge. The candidates are on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election.