Mike McAuliffe has been representing the 20th House District for 20 years. What's notable is his district is largely in Chicago -- and he's a Republican.
He's the only Chicago Republican in the General Assembly. And for the first time since the 1990s, he is facing stiff competition.
Democrat Merry Marwig has lived in the district only for three years, but she immediately became weary of the airplane noise from O'Hare International Airport. So she got involved with the Fair Allocation in Runway Coalition, where she worked with residents and politicians toward a more equitable distribution of flight paths.
Marwig, chief of staff at a software company, said she opposes all tax increases on middle class families and seniors but supports the so-called millionaire's tax, which would add a 3-percent surcharge on a person's earnings over $1 million to fund education.
McAuliffe says raising taxes alone will never fix Illinois problems, so he would not support any tax increase that is not tied to reform. He concedes that he's fought an uphill battle for the past 20 years being in the minority party and being surrounded by Chicago Democrats, but notes that what he does every day to get things done is work with Democrats. That is something this General Assembly sorely needs.
We like Marwig's energy and intelligence, but she lacks a record to stand on. Given McAuliffe's history of working across the aisle, he is endorsed.
District 20 includes Rosemont and parts of northwest Chicago, Schiller Park and Norridge.