Endorsement: McLaughlin in Republican primary for Duffy's state senate seat
When state Sen. Dan Duffy decided he would retire from the Illinois legislature in 2017, it opened a door for suburban Republicans eager to try their mettle in Springfield.
Three candidates are running for the Republican primary in the 26th state Senate District, 253 square miles that reach from Waukegan, Libertyville and Buffalo Grove on the east to Crystal Lake, Algonquin, Carpentersville and Hoffman Estates on the west and southwest.
Of the three, our choice is Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin.
McLaughlin has been Barrington Hills mayor for three years and -- with the help of the 2015 municipal midterm elections -- now has a workable majority that has eliminated most of the drama that used to drag village meetings out into the wee hours.
He and South Barrington settled a decades-old lawsuit brought by Sears over some undeveloped property that was racking up legal fees and not much else; he has cut the village's annual legal expenses to roughly one quarter of what they used to be.
To be sure, there are some bruised feelings in Barrington Hills and not everyone loves McLaughlin's style of leadership. But in winning his seat, he beat a sitting president who outspent him 5 to 1; he's shown he can win and take a few punches. That might come in handy in Springfield, should he ever have to decide between supporting his governor or the municipalities in his district.
McLaughlin, who owns an investment advisory firm and oversees the investment of public and private pension assets, does not have the conservative credentials of Dan McConchie, vice president of government affairs for Americans United for Life and Duffy's choice to succeed him. Still, McLaughlin supports Gov. Bruce Rauner's Turnaround agenda and opposes abortion rights, which we believe puts him in tune with much of the 26th District.
McConchie is well-spoken and well-versed on the financial issues, and Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher rounds out the race. But McLaughlin has the most-compelling track record, and he gets our endorsement.