49th District GOP rivals debate their electability in November showdown with Hirschauer

The two candidates in the Republican primary for the 49th District state House seat recently debated their respective electability in the November general election when one will challenge Democratic incumbent state Rep. Maura Hirschauer of Batavia.

Hannah Billingsley of West Chicago and Aris Garcia of Streamwood are business owners who say they don’t feel represented in Springfield by the Democratic party or Hirschauer.

Billingsley said a mutual respect has developed between her and Garcia, but she believes she’ll have a better chance to win in November based on differences in their platforms and the fact she would be a woman challenging another woman.

“I think it would be tough for ... a male to beat Maura, and I’m not trying to make this a gender thing,” Billingsley said. “I was like, ‘Hey, it’s not personal, Aris, it’s you and I both want the same thing,’ we both want to flip this seat, and if I were a betting person I’d be be betting on me.”

She added that they’ve both expressed they would support the winner of the primary in the general election.

Garcia said it’s clear that he’s an “America First” conservative candidate and Billingsley is a more moderate Republican.

He added that he believes he found errors in her candidacy petition that might have made her vulnerable to removal from the ballot, but he didn’t file an objection because he thought a choice of philosophies was good for Republican voters of the 49th District.

“And I think that when it comes to electability, if conservatives aren’t going to come out in a general election, you can have the best candidate on the planet, we’re not going to win as Republicans,” Garcia said. “Conservatives need to be convinced that someone is in Springfield or wants to go to Springfield with conservative values. And that candidate is I.”

Both candidates expressed distaste for politics itself, and the notion that government is the solution to all problems rather than the personal leadership they feel they possess.

The 49th District includes parts of Aurora, Bartlett, Batavia, Elgin, Geneva, Hanover Park, Naperville, South Elgin, Streamwood, Warrenville, Wayne and West Chicago.

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