Sente to run for re-election

SPRINGFIELD — Rep. Carol Sente, a Vernon Hills Democrat serving her first full term in the Illinois House, said Friday that she plans to run for re-election in 2012.

New legislative maps this year means her decision could pit her against Republican Rep. Sidney Mathias of Buffalo Grove, a fellow incumbent lawmaker.

Sente said Friday that she decided against a bid for Congress to run for re-election because she feels state-level issues often have a more direct effect on people.

“Being in the Statehouse is very fulfilling,” she said.

Sente was appointed to the House in 2009 and won a bid for election in 2010.

In her upcoming campaign, Sente might seek to tout her role in the state’s budget process. She carried legislation that outlined how the state budget was approved this year. The plan forced lawmakers to first agree on how much money the state was expected to take in before setting their spending plans.

And the law forced lawmakers to pay loan payments and contribute to state retirement funds before spending on other programs.

The district Sente plans to run in includes parts of Mundelein, Vernon Hills, Wheeling, Gurnee, Buffalo Grove and other Lake County towns.

Because the new district includes Buffalo Grove, Mathias will now have to decide whether to take on Sente, move to another district to try to avoid competing against another incumbent, or retire.

Mathias said Friday that he hasn’t yet made up his mind, but plans to “soon.”

“I have not made a final decision yet,” he said. “I’m still looking at all the options.”

Mathias, formerly mayor of Buffalo Grove, has been in the Illinois House since 1999.

Sidney Mathias