45th District Representative Winger: Candidate Profile

45th District Representative (Republican)

  • 45th District Representative Winger, running for 45th District Representative

    45th District Representative Winger, running for 45th District Representative

Updated 10/9/2014 11:30 AM

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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.

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City: Wood Dale

Website: wingerforrep.com

Office sought:

45th District Representative

Age: 43

Family: Husband, Mark

Occupation: Financial Advisor

Education: Bachelor of Science from Illinois State University.

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Civic involvement: Wood Dale Alderman, April 2003 to Present. Wood Dale Deputy Mayor, May 2013 to Present. Chairman of Clean Air Counts. Former Finance Chairman/ Public Works/ building & Zoning.

Elected offices held: Wood Dale Alderman and Wood Dale Deputy Mayor.

Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No.

Questions & Answers

How will you work to make the General Assembly function more productively and effectively? Wlll you vote to retain your party's current legislative leader? In what specific ways do you support changing how government in Springfield works?

Having served as an Alderman in Wood Dale, my experience has shown how crucial it is to bring consensus between people of differing opinions, in order to find common ground and be effective decision makers for our constituents. I also possess a unique skill set as an investment advisor. This background will allow me to work with other legislators to form common sense, long term solutions for the state budget and its priorities. We need to come together to prioritize state spending " with more and more constraints on the state budget, Illinois needs to live within its means.

If the Supreme Court, strikes down the SB 1 pension reform, what is your Plan B and why do you think it would be both legal and effective?

The current legislation will likely be struck down by the Supreme Court, as it does not comply with constitutional guarantees regarding pension benefits for state employees. That said, we need to work together in Springfield to find an immediate and lasting solution to the pension crisis. This important endeavor needs to include the consensus of legislators, taxpayers, and state employees to find an equitable solution and put our state on a path to financial security.


As it stands now, the 2011 income tax increase will expire as planned on Jan. 1. Do you think that expiration should be reconsidered? Would you support making the increase permanent or extending it for some period of time? Please be specific about what level of tax increase, if any, you would support.

Since raising individual income taxes by 67% in 2011, the state has barely made any progress in addressing unfunded pension liabilities, paying overdue bills, or returning Illinois to fiscal solvency. Instead, money has been allocated to new programs and spending " not the reason why individual and corporate income taxes were increased in the first place. I would allow the 2011 income tax increase to sunset, as I believe the state has a spending problem that needs to be taken care of, so that there is no need for a tax increase.

Do you support cuts in state spending? If so, what specifically do you suggest cutting and how will those cuts be sufficient to restore the state's financial health and economic climate?

Prioritizing how dollars are spent, rather than broad cuts to state spending, is the most rational approach to spending priorities. There needs to be expert analysis of how the state spends its money, how to eliminate inefficiencies, and how programs and services can best serve our citizens. If reviews of inefficient or unneeded programs recommend their elimination, this will contribute to the overall financial health and well-being of state finances.

What changes, if any, do you believe the state should make in the area of education? Would you support the the so-called pension cost-shift to local schools?

Property taxes are the number one issue voters speak to me about as I travel around our district. The tax burden on homeowners is already at its breaking point. I would not support shifting pension costs to local schools as it would put an undue mandate on school district funding, as well as a crushing increase in property taxes, to pay the bills. There has to be an equitable solution at the state level to fund pension liabilities, while offering relief to homeowners and providing a first class education for our kids.

What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?

Job creation, along with attracting and retaining employers in Illinois, is one of the main focuses of my campaign. We also have critical issues that need to be addressed in my district: including the reduction of airplane noise in communities surrounding O’Hare, property tax relief, keeping our children safe and healthy, holding down the costs of higher education, and keeping our communities safe.

Please name one current leader who most inspires you.

My father has always been a leader that has inspired me because of his hard work ethic and dedication to public service.

What's the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?

“Earn every dollar, save my money, and when necessary, spend it wisely.”

If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?

Candidate did not respond.

What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?

Math was always my favorite subject. I've always had a passion for numbers and financial matters, helping me in my career as a financial advisor.

If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?

“Don’t sit on the sidelines, get involved in the community, and strive to make it a better place.”