Hot races in DuPage County
Voters throughout DuPage County will travel to the polls Tuesday to pick who will represent them at the county, state and congressional level.
Here's a look at four of the hottest races voters will be deciding.
In one of the most visible races, Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster is trying to fend off a challenge from Republican state Rep. Darlene Senger in the 11th Congressional District.
The two Naperville residents disagree on a variety of issues, including whether the Affordable Care Act has been a success. Foster said the law is reducing the growth of health care costs while providing opportunities for people who were previously uninsurable. Senger says the law is "government at its worst" but doesn't believe it can be repealed because of the number of enrollees.
Senger, who decided not to seek re-election at the state level to make a bid for the 11th District seat, said she's open to immigration reform that would give people access to education and a chance to be part of the country. Foster, a proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, says he disagrees with Republicans who want to take a "piece-by-piece" approach to reform.
When it comes to the minimum wage, Foster said he supports increasing it to help ensure anyone who works 40 hours a week doesn't live in poverty. Senger said she's not against raising the minimum wage but wants "businesses and jobs and opportunities" in place that will help the economy grow.
The 11th District covers parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will counties, including Aurora, Naperville, Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge and Joliet.
81st state House
DuPage County Board member Elizabeth Chaplin is hoping to make the move to state government by challenging Republican incumbent Ron Sandack for the seat representing Illinois' 81st House District.
Chaplin, a Downers Grove Democrat, differs with Sandack on several tax issues, including whether an increase of the state income tax should expire as planned in 2015.
Sandack, also of Downers Grove, said the lawmakers who approved the tax hike in 2011 promised to manage money better so the higher taxes could be temporary. It would be "offensive" to the taxpayers to go back on that promise, he said.
Chaplin said she worries about how the state would function without revenue from the higher income tax. She wants the state to continue to make progress on paying down bills and contributing toward pension obligations.
Sandack is a former state senator and previously served as mayor of Downers Grove. Chaplin has been on the DuPage County Board since 2012.
The 81st District includes all or parts of Darien, Downers Grove, Lisle, Naperville, Westmont and Woodridge.
84th state House
Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit is trying to keep her 84th state House District seat. To get another term, the Aurora resident will have to defeat Republican challenger Krishna Bansal of Naperville.
Both candidates say Illinois needs to do more to promote a business-friendly environment. But they have different ideas for the best ways to improve the state's business climate.
Bansal, president and CEO of a technology firm he founded, said state government needs to lower taxes and decrease regulations to allow the free market to succeed.
Kifowit, who has represented the district since early 2013, said the best way to help existing Illinois businesses and attract more companies is to provide better workforce training and create a financially stable government.
Kifowit is a former Aurora alderman. Bansal is seeking his first elected office.
The 84th District includes all or parts of Aurora, Naperville, Oswego, Montgomery and Boulder Hill.
Robert Peickert, the chairman of the DuPage Democratic Party, is trying to unseat DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin.
If successful, Peickert said he's going to treat the county board chairman position like it's a full-time job.
"I plan to be a lobbyist for the county," the Elmhurst resident said. He said his focus would include finding money for flood-control projects and addressing the issue of increased airplane noise from O'Hare International Airport.
Cronin, who is seeking a second term as county board chairman, said his administration "laid a very sound foundation" with its ACT (Accountability, Consolidation and Transparency) Initiative.
If re-elected, the Elmhurst Republican said he will continue efforts to reform and consolidate local government while meeting the challenges facing DuPage.
"The county is growing, changing and becoming a more diverse county -- all wonderful, dynamic features that challenge me to be my best," said Cronin.
He said he wants DuPage "to be the model of good government."