Similar on issues, 54th District Democrats say background, experiences are what separates them
While the candidates in the Democratic primary for 54th state House District seat agree on many issues, each is making a case for being the better choice for voters.
Palatine resident Ryan Huffman faces Maggie Trevor of Rolling Meadows in the March 17 primary. The winner will run against Republican state Rep. Tom Morrison of Palatine in November.
District 54 includes parts of Arlington Heights, Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Palatine, Rolling Meadows and South Barrington.
Trevor and Huffman have staked similar positions on issues, such as their belief that voters should support Gov. J.B. Pritzker's "fair tax" proposal in November. They also share concerns about climate change and back the Clean Energy Jobs Act proposed for the state.
But while acknowledging their similarities on some key issues, Trevor and Huffman each say their different experiences and backgrounds make them the better choice for Democratic voters.
Trevor, 57, is taking her second shot at the District 54 seat. Morrison topped her by 37 votes in November 2018.
In her 20 years in the health care industry, Trevor said, she had to "speak truth to power" as a market researcher when she met with top corporate executives, often telling them their sales strategy was not working. She said her job experience has prepared her for the General Assembly.
"I know how to negotiate," said Trevor, owner of a market research and business consulting company. "I know how to communicate in difficult situations. And I have the industry expertise in health care and education to make a real difference."
Huffman, 33, unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination in the 2018 primary for the 6th Congressional District seat. Sean Casten won the primary and went on to defeat Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam in the general election.
Huffman says he would bring expertise in data and public policy analysis to Springfield.
"I think the distinguishing factor for me, there's a couple of things," said Huffman, who works as a data analyst. "One is a middle-class background and lifestyle, living as somebody who's trying to run for office while working a 9-to-5 job, who has almost six figures of student loan debt. I just got below that number recently, which I'm excited about. But it'll be a while. I'm still paying that off. And I can relate to a lot of folks and the challenges that they're facing in this challenging economic climate."
Trevor's campaign fund continues to grow, according to Illinois State Board of Elections filings. On Feb. 21, records show, she received $15,000 from the Illinois Federation of Teachers and $2,000 from United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881.
At the end of the most recent reporting period from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, Trevor's campaign fund had $40,693 in available funds compared to Huffman's $716. Huffman's campaign has not reported any contributions of $1,000 or more this year, according to the state board of elections.