Endorse: Iqbal in House District 65 Democratic primary
Ten days after taking his Kane County Board seat, Mohammad "Mo" Iqbal, of Elgin, proposed eliminating health and dental benefits for county board members, calling the $240,000 expense "outrageous" for what he considers part-time work.
He was unsuccessful in forcing colleagues to pay for their insurance costs, but the story represents a taxpayer-first mentality Iqbal wants to take to Springfield.
Iqbal, a lawyer and engineer who won county board and forest district board seats in 2018 after 14 years of volunteering on local commissions and foundations, is seeking the Democratic nomination for the state's 65th House District. He faces Martha Paschke, a patient intake coordinator from Geneva, who has no elected experience but has extensive community volunteer involvement. She has received financial support from party leaders.
The winner faces Republican Dan Ugaste in the November general election. Ugaste, of Geneva, is unopposed in the primary.
Iqbal and Paschke have similar positions on many issues. Both support Fair Maps, ethics reform and the graduated income tax. Iqbal supports term limits; Paschke doesn't want to take that power from voters.
We endorse Iqbal, who's shown he's independent, not afraid to ruffle feathers and wants to cut government costs.
He says his prime focus will be property tax and pension relief to address the financial crisis in Illinois. He calls for freezing property taxes for five years to force cost-cutting and he has a five-step plan to control public pension costs, including negotiating COLAs.
Paschke said her volunteer work makes her someone people trust. She's a solid candidate who says the district's greatest need is more funding for mental health and opioid issues.
While we applaud Iqbal's cost reduction focus, he'll have to work to build coalitions and find partners to be successful.
The district includes all of Pingree Grove and parts of Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, Elgin, South Elgin, Hampshire and Huntley.