Endorsement: Bernas in House District 56

Two years ago, state Rep. Michelle Mussman of Schaumburg barely survived a surprisingly effective challenge from Republican Jim Moynihan, a political newcomer who capitalized on her support for pension reform.

That no doubt is a big reason her campaign is now spending large sums in attack advertising designed to dirty up her opponent, Schaumburg Township Library Trustee Jillian Rose Bernas of Schaumburg.

Largely because of Mussman's perceived vulnerability, one of the most-watched legislative races in the state is in House District 56, which takes in portions of Bartlett, Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and Roselle as well as Schaumburg.

It's a key tussle in House Speaker Michael Madigan's efforts to keep a Democratic supermajority and Gov. Bruce Rauner's attempts to build a more balanced bipartisan climate in Springfield.

We have supported Mussman in the past and continue to find her likable and thoughtful, but we're troubled by the lesson she apparently drew from the tough 2014 campaign: Protect her seat by aligning herself closer with Madigan and vested interests.

In May, with barely a moment for legislative review, Madigan pushed through a bloated budget that was hugely out of balance. Mussman was among those Democrats voting in favor.

Bernas, a Republican with a strong background in public policy, is committed to the kind of structural reform and common sense financial approach the state needs. She earns our endorsement.

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