Endorsement: Cheney for Democrats in Congress, District 6
The political landscape in the 6th Congressional District is considerably different in 2018 than when College of Lake County Trustee Amanda Howland first ventured to challenge entrenched Republican Peter Roskam two years ago. Closely linked to controversial Republican tax reform plan in a district that Donald Trump lost to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Roskam now is seen as vulnerable, and that's likely to attract national party help for his Democratic opponent this fall that wasn't available before.
Considering that and noting that she managed 41 percent of the vote against Roskam on her own, Howland, of Lake Zurich, likes her chances this time around. Unfortunately for her, six other Democrats like their chances, too -- and they're not rank opportunists. Sean Casten, of Downers Grove, is a successful entrepreneur in environmental businesses; Carole Cheney, of Naperville, served as district chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Bill Foster; Ryan Huffman, of Palatine, is a data analyst; Kelly Mazeski, of Barrington Hills, has 18 years experience in local government and political experience in a previous campaign for Illinois legislature; Becky Anderson Wilkins, of Naperville, operates a renowned suburban bookstore chain and serves on the Naperville City Council; and Jennifer Zordani, is a regulatory and financial services attorney from Clarendon Hills.
This is an impressive field. All the candidates are knowledgeable, passionate and articulate about the issues that drive their campaigns -- notably women's rights, health care, tax policy, economic equality and foreign policy.
Howland says her experience with the CLC board, her background as a psychologist and lawyer and her prior experience running for Congress separate her from the pack, and she makes a good case. We're not as certain, however, that a second matchup between her and Roskam would offer voters a considerably different choice than the one they rejected two years ago. Among a field of highly qualified candidates, we prefer Cheney. Her first-hand insight into the workings of a congressional office can help her hit the ground running if she manages to get past Roskam in the fall, and she demonstrates an appealing mix of loyalty to progressive values and willingness to consider all points of view, a blend that would be a welcome addition to the Washington political climate.
The 6th District wraps around the western rim of the suburbs in an arc leading from Long Grove west to Algonquin south through Carpentersville and Elgin then turning southeast toward Westmont.