No endorsement in U.S. House District 9

We frequently criticize the polarity of modern politics, yet that's where our choice lies in the 9th Congressional District.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston is one of Congress's most liberal voices. Republican challenger Sargis Sangari, head of a think tank on Middle Eastern affairs, leans in the opposite direction on many issues.

Their differences are widest on guns - where Schakowsky favors universal background checks for would-be buyers and Sangari says the answer is enforcing current laws against using guns to commit crimes - and on the quality of the federal response to COVID-19 - where the two are equally emphatic in their opposing views.

Schakowsky is part of the Medicare for All Caucus but introduced a version that would allow people to keep employer-sponsored insurance. Sangari, on the Affordable Care Act, proposes keeping what works and throwing out what does not, without elaborating on a plan.

His position is similarly vague on climate change, where he suggests bringing scientists from both sides of the issue together to find solutions.

We feel it's imperative for Congress to return to a sensible middle ground, and not just in the 9th District, if our nation is to avoid a constant ricochet from one extreme to the other.

Schakowsky is too far to the left for us; yet, Sangari seems to lack passion to confront many of the issues we consider most urgent. We cannot endorse either candidate in the 9th Congressional District, which includes parts of Chicago, Arlington Heights, Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Skokie, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka and Glencoe.

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