14th District hopefuls differ on top priorities

Posted3/1/2012 5:30 AM
  • Jonathan Farnick

    Jonathan Farnick

  • Dennis Anderson

    Dennis Anderson

Two candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the 14th Congressional District agree on some parts of President Obama's proposed budget, but they differ in other aspects of their campaigns.

The winner of the Jonathan Farnick vs. Dennis Anderson contest on March 20 will face Republican Randy Hultgren in the November general election.

Hultgren, a Winfield Republican, is seeking another two-year term.

Farnick, a 43-year-old Woodstock resident, and Anderson, 61, of Gurnee, both see the merits in Obama's budget proposal to spend more on maintaining and upgrading the county's infrastructure while reducing the deficit over time.

But Anderson is wary of possible cuts to social service programs and watchdogs like the Environmental Protection Agency.

"I am concerned in times like that, when things are so difficult and we're hurting, that we don't eat away at programs," said Anderson, a retired public health researcher, whose top priority is fighting poverty. "I am concerned about eroding environmental protections. That's been an agenda item on the Republican side."

Farnick, a computer system consultant, said hammering out next year's spending plan will be a "battle of wills" between Democrats and Republicans, but his top concern is reducing yearly deficits and the overall national debt.

"It's either cut everything or raise taxes or a combination of the two, and Republicans have said they are not going to raise taxes," Farnick said.

Both candidates opposed the privatization of Social Security. They both favor retaining the Bush Administration tax cuts for households earning less than $250,000 a year.

And they both believe the cuts for households earning more than $250,000 a year should be allowed to expire.

Farnick doesn't believe tax cuts in general have helped turn the economy around. "It's a huge part of the deficit we have now. Where are the jobs? Where is this great economy that the tax cuts should have brought?"

Anderson believes the country can do more to help those who need it most. "We need to do a better job of offering a helping hand for those people. I think it's in us as a nation," he said.

The district encompasses parts of Kane, DuPage, DeKalb, Will, Lake, McHenry, Kendall, Whiteside, Lee and Bureau counties.

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