Endorsement: Sonnefeldt for the Democrats in state Senate Dist. 27
Democratic voters in the state Senate's 27th District are fortunate to have a choice of two strong candidates in the March 20 primary, where retired attorney and health care professional Ann Gillespie of Arlington Heights is running against Mount Prospect Elementary Dist. 57 board president Joe Sonnefeldt of Mount Prospect. The winner will face Republican incumbent Tom Rooney of Rolling Meadows in the November election.
Both candidates have a strong background in civic activism. Gillespie was an organizer of efforts supporting Cook County's minimum wage and sick leave laws through the group We The People as well as several other efforts. In addition to his work with the school board, Sonnefeldt received the 2016 Mount Prospect "Shining Star" award for youth service.
Both candidates have similar stands on the major issues. Both see a need to revise the state tax system to make education funding less reliant on property taxes. Both believe in refinancing the state debt to ease the burden created by the short-funded pension system; both see a need to invest in upgrading the state's infrastructure.
The differences mainly fall to their individual backgrounds. Gillespie's career has been in business, while Sonnefeldt has been in teaching and, as a professional musician and school board member, working with unions. Again, both would be worthy challengers to Rooney in November, but we feel Sonnefeldt's background differs from the norm in Springfield and would be a welcome change of perspective.