North Barrington Democrat announces campaign for state Senate

Maria Peterson, a Democrat from North Barrington, announced Monday she will run for the 26th District state Senate seat currently held by Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie of Hawthorn Woods.

Peterson is a newcomer to state politics. She ran in 2018 for the District 17 seat on the Lake County Board, losing to Republican Michael Danforth by about 650 votes.

In her campaign announcement, Peterson painted McConchie as being too conservative for the district, which currently includes portions of the Barrington area, as well as Cary, Fox River Grove, Palatine, Lake Zurich, Deer Park, Long Grove, McHenry, Mundelein and Wauconda. District boundaries will change for the 2022 election due to redistricting.

McConchie has not yet declared whether he will seek reelection. Whitney Barnes, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Senate Republican Victory campaign organization, said McConchie is "currently focused on defending all Illinoisans' voting rights by challenging the General Assembly's inaccurate, politician-drawn legislative redistricting map in federal court."

Peterson served for a time as an attorney at the U.S. Department of Labor, litigating workplace safety violations. She founded and was the sole employee of a boutique fitness studio in North Barrington called FitCore Inc. in 2000. Peterson said she had to close her business in June as a result of the pandemic.

She also has served on the Citizens Utility Board, the North Barrington Plan Commission, the Barrington Breakfast Rotary Club and the League of Women Voters and is a 30-year member of the Sierra Club, a national environmental organization.

As a state senator, Peterson said she would focus on issues such as clean air, safe and affordable water, access to affordable health care including mental health, cleaner modes of transportation and helping small businesses survive and thrive.

"The honest way to make progress on the issues that really matter in our day-to-day lives is listening to people's needs, asking questions and working to find solutions together," she said.

Dan McConchie Courtesy of Dan McConchie
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