11th District candidates find common ground, but express different priorities at Batavia forum

Although they found common ground on many issues, three Republican candidates for Illinois' 11th Congressional District seat expressed different priorities during a public forum in Batavia.

Susan Hathaway-Altman, a corporate executive from the Geneva area, said enabling what she called a "cultural transfiguration" is her prime concern.

"We need to get to a point in this country where we can share our opinions without violence (or) extreme ideology," she said Wednesday night during the roughly hourlong forum at city hall.

Mark Carroll, a North Aurora trustee and attorney, said his top priority is "slashing the size and scope of the federal government." Reducing spending and requiring a balanced annual budget are key steps toward that goal, he said.

Jerry Evans, a music school owner from Warrenville, said the U.S. needs to return to a free economy and "push against the socialist-leaning policies of our current administration."

The forum was sponsored by League of Women Voters groups serving communities in the 11th District.

Three other candidates - Andrea Heeg of the Geneva area, Catalina Lauf of Woodstock and Cassandra Tanner Miller of Elgin - skipped the event.

Heeg and Lauf both cited concerns about the organizing groups in social media posts, while pregnancy-related precautions kept Tanner Miller from the event.

Among the other topics moderator Jan Dorner addressed was whether a new federal law is needed to protect voting rights. None of the candidates endorsed such a plan.

All three said they support requiring people to provide ID before voting. Additionally, Evans opposed no-excuse mail-in voting, which Illinois and other states have adopted.

The trio also agreed on the need for term limits for congressional representatives and U.S. senators, although none suggested specific limits.

They aligned again in opposition to laws that would ensure a woman's right to control her personal health care, citing objections to abortion. The right to life "outweighs a woman's right to privacy," Carroll said.

National security was another issue on which the candidates had similar stances. All three said illegal immigration at the southern border was a top concern.

Hathaway-Altman expressed fears of terrorists and drug cartel members coming up from Mexico. Carroll said there's an "invasion" occurring at the southern border.

Evans said the southern border could be a top national security issue, but he also cited the need for energy independence as a security priority.

Redrawn for the 2022 election, the 11th District encompasses parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will, DeKalb and Boone counties.

The winner of the June 28 GOP primary will face Democratic incumbent Bill Foster of Naperville in the Nov. 8 general election.

A video of the forum is available online at

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