32nd District Senate candidates discuss who should be voters' choice
The Democratic challenger in state Senate District 32 said she should be elected Nov. 6 because she understands complex property tax assessment laws and has deep ties to McHenry and Lake county communities, while her Republican opponent said his leadership qualities from 24 years in the Air Force make him the best choice.
Retired Col. Craig Wilcox, 51, an applied ethical leadership and command instructor with Air University, faces off against McHenry Township Assessor Mary Mahady, 59. Both are from McHenry.
Wilcox is technically the incumbent because former state Sen. Pam Althoff relinquished her legislative seat Sept. 30.
McHenry and Lake county GOP officials appointed Wilcox as her replacement after he served two years on the McHenry County Board.
The 32nd state Senate District includes parts of Lake and McHenry counties.
Wilcox said he understands the district, listens to residents and is the best candidate to go to Springfield to help build legislative consensus.
"We want a new mission -- a new focus -- for Springfield," Wilcox said during a Daily Herald endorsement interview.
Voters in Senate District 32 have "given us their top issues and, now, it's a matter of going down to Springfield, working with the General Assembly, understanding and listening to everyone's viewpoints, establishing some form of leadership and setting a personal example," he said.
Mahady said she has lived in the district for 38 years and understands complex assessment and property tax laws because of her experience as a licensed Realtor and serving two terms as township assessor.
"I believe I am the best candidate for this district because I am a deeply vested person in this district," she said. "I also am the best person to work on property tax reform at the state. My background has been 25 years of property tax assessment. I have firsthand knowledge of the laws that need to be changed to make it work."
Althoff, who represented the district since 2003, announced two years ago she would not seek re-election. Instead, she is running unopposed for a McHenry County Board seat.
Althoff said she resigned Sept. 30 to remove any appearance of using her seat as an advantage in her race for McHenry County Board.
Mahady said Althoff's early resignation served no purpose except to give Wilcox a leg up during the election.
"I can already see the mailings that will come out referring to him as a state senator," Mahady previously said. "It's not really wrong, but I think that's the only way he's going to get in that seat."