Republican Dan McConchie followed a somewhat unconventional path to his seat in the Illinois Senate, but he has quickly shown he was ready for the job. In the March primary race for Senate District 26, McConchie, of Hawthorn Woods, won a tough contest with two other candidates to earn his spot on the November ballot. A month later, just in time for a major confrontation over the state budget, his party appointed him to the seat to replace Dan Duffy, who had resigned to head an agency that fights child abuse. McConchie holds firmly conservative views on social and, especially, financial issues, but he also shows an interest in cooperation and a creative approach to solving problems ranging from education funding to government consolidation.
Democrat Kelly Mazeski, of Barrington, is challenging McConchie for the seat in a district with a large Lake County component but stretching also into portions of McHenry, Kane and northwest Cook. She, too, presents a candidacy based more on pragmatic problem solving than doctrinaire politics, and she is articulate on central issues facing state government.
But at a critical time in Illinois politics, McConchie is best suited to provide a strong voice to challenge the status quo. He deserves a full term in the Senate to make his presence felt.