2020 Voter Guide

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FOR ILLINOIS SENATE:

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FOR ILLINOIS HOUSE:

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BIOS – ILLINOIS SENATE

Hon. Antonio Munoz, 1st District 

State Senator Antonio “Tony” Munoz has served the 1st Senate District since January 1999 and will continue as Assistant Majority Leader, appointed by Senate President John Cullerton. As a former Chicago police officer, Munoz saw firsthand that crime and gang activity were tearing apart his community. His legislative priorities have always been crime prevention and ensuring that weapons stay off the streets and out of neighborhoods.

Hon. Kimberly Lightford, 4th District

Since the beginning of her political career, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford has been a vocal champion for her strongest passions: promoting quality education, advocating for quality healthcare and providing support for working families. In January 2019, she made history when she became the first Black woman to serve as Illinois’ Senate Majority Leader. Leader Lightford holds a bachelor’s degree in public communications from Western Illinois University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Hon. Sara Feigenholtz, 6th District

State Senator Sara Feigenholtz served in the House of Representatives before joining the Illinois Senate in January of 2020. Feigenholtz has championed groundbreaking legislation reflecting the diverse needs of the district. An adoptee herself, Feigenholtz’s personal connection drove her to establish the first committee on Adoption & Child Welfare to shed light on a broken system. A resident of Lakeview and a lifelong Cubs fan, Feigenholtz can be found at the district’s street fairs, community theatres, and music venues when session is adjourned.

Heather Steans, 7th District

Prior to becoming a State Senator in 2008, Sen. Steans graduated from Princeton with a B.A. in Urban Studies and received her M.A. in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her professional career has focused on government finance, economic development and education reform. She is the former budget director of the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, served as a strategic planner with the Chicago Public Schools and was a consultant with Ernst & Young. Sen. Steans has received numerous awards, including the Legislator of the Year Award from AARP, the Richard Phelan Profile in Courage Award from Planned Parenthood, the Legislative Recovery Award from Trilogy, and the Equality Illinois Freedom Award. Sen.

Hon. Robert Martwick, 10th District

Sen. Martwick is an attorney and former criminal prosecutor who was raised in Norridge, which along with Harwood Heights is the only suburb of Chicago located entirely within the borders of the city. Sen. Martwick has 16 years of experience in local government. He served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 2013-2019, representing the 19th House District. On June 28th, 2019, Rob was appointed Illinois State Senator from the 10th Legislative District. Sen. Martwick holds a Law Degree from The John Marshall Law School, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Boston College. He lives in the Portage Park neighborhood of Chicago with his wife, Sharon, and sons, Bobby and Benji.

Hon. Celina Villanueva, 11th District

Born in Chicago and raised in Little Village, Celina Villanueva is currently the State Senator for Illinois’ 11th District. Sen. Villanueva began organizing and advocating for her community as a teenager, and is committed to building immigrant power, developing young leaders, expanding voting rights and engaging immigrant communities and allies. During her time at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), she organized her community to pressure lawmakers to pass online, same-day and automatic voter registration – all of which are now law. There, she also also ran the largest immigrant civic engagement program in the state, registering over 200,000 new American voters. Prior to joining ICIRR, Celina served as the Director of Organizing at Chicago Votes where she engaged young voters in democracy.

Hon. Robert Peters, 13th District 

Sen. Robert Peters has a deep passion for public service cultivated by numerous events throughout his life that left a profound impact on him and the people he cares about. He was born in 1985 deaf and with a massive speech impediment. Sen. Peters’ childhood struggled led to difficulties, but he credits teachers and administrators at his public school for checking in on him and guiding him. He gained full hearing ability by the time he was 8 and full speech capability by the time he was 12. After finishing college, Sen. Peters became a political organizer and successfully fought to require Cook County judges to set affordable bail amounts for all defendants. As a state senator, Peters plans to continue advocating for the people in his community and district to ensure they get the investment they need.

Hon. Jacqui Collins, 16th District

Born in McComb, Miss., Collins moved as a child to the South Side neighborhood of Englewood. She majored in journalism at Northwestern University and is a graduate of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Divinity School. A former journalist and Emmy award-nominated editor at CBS-TV, State Senator Collins has used her experience and communication skills in support of a progressive agenda to create economic and social welfare policies that reduce inequality, expand opportunity and strengthen communities.

Hon. Cristina Castro, 22nd District

Rep. Castro is a second-generation Mexican-American and lifelong district resident who is committed to her community and to public service. After high school, she attained an associate degree from Elgin Community College, then became the first person in her family to earn a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Business Administration from Northern Illinois University. While active in her community throughout her life, Castro’s public service career began in 2008 when she was elected to the Kane County Board where she served until 2016. In addition to the Kane County Board, she served on the board of directors for the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Black History Family Festival and Centro de Información. Castro has a marketing and communications management background and has held positions in both the public and private sector. Since becoming a State Senator in 2015, She has stood up for working families and isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions. She has reached across the aisle on the issues that matter most to the people in her district and works in a bipartisan fashion to help solve problems and to move Illinois in the right direction.

Hon. Karina Villa, candidate, 25th District

Born and raised in West Chicago, Illinois, Rep. Villa is a lifelong resident of Illinois’ 25th senate district. On November 6, 2018, she was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives for the 49th district. Prior to being elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, Rep. Villa served on the West Chicago District 33 Board of Education since 2013. As the school board vice president, Rep. Villa’s knowledge and leadership led to improved programming in the schools, including full-day kindergarten and dual-language programming. Rep. Villa uses her professional background, leadership, and life experience to collaborate through compassionate conversation. She is committed to listening to the voices of her constituents and ensuring effective representation.

Hon. Laura Murphy, 28th District

Born into a middle-class family in Park Ridge, State Senator Laura Murphy graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She spent the last 20 years as an active member of the Des Plaines community, including eight years as an alderman for the city’s 3rd Ward. Murphy has over two decades of experience in health care and social services management. As a member of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, she worked to educate youth on alcohol and tobacco prevention. Her working-class background and previous professional experience inform her views on government as an entity that should work toward the betterment of the people and reinforce her belief in the importance of education, public safety and fighting corruption and waste in state government.

Hon. Melinda Bush, 31st District

Sen. Bush, a lifelong resident of Lake County, first entered public office as a trustee for the village of Grayslake, serving for four years. She also has been a small-business owner and a constant voice for environmental protection measures. Prior to her election to the Illinois Senate, Sen. Bush served on the Lake County Board, fighting for the creation of good-paying jobs in Lake County and the balancing of the county’s budget. In the Illinois Senate, Sen. Bush’s passion for ethics and good government, economic development, gender equality, discrimination and harassment prevention, environmental protection and solving the opioid epidemic shines through in her work at the Capitol.

Hon. John Connor, candidate, 43rd District

John grew up on Broadway Street in Joliet. After graduating from Joliet Catholic Academy in 1988, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from the University of Illinois. He worked for 20+ years as a Prosecutor and Major Crimes Chief at the Will County State’s Attorney Office. Since joining the Illinois General Assembly as the Representative of the 85th House district, John has sponsored and passed laws on government transparency, technology capital investment, legislation to advance DNA identification techniques, and updates to orders of protection procedures to help victims. John has also voted to pass budgets that help Illinois stabilize its fiscal situation and begin to pay the backlog of bills which are still costing Illinois millions of dollars in interest.

Meg Loughran Cappel, candidate, 49th District 

Meg Loughran Cappel grew up in Joliet and has deep family roots in the area. Meg became a special education teacher to provide a voice for students with special needs. She has long been dedicated to fostering inclusive environments for students to learn and thrive. After teaching special education for many years, Meg took her passion for education to the next level in 2015, when she became a union representative for her teacher’s union—AFT-IFT Local 604—at her school for two years. In 2017, she ran for and won a seat on the Joliet Township High School Board. For the last 12 years, Meg has been a champion for equity in education for both teachers and students, offering them support from birth through higher education, and on to meaningful careers.

BIOS – ILLINOIS HOUSE

Hon. Aaron Ortiz, 1st District 

Rep. Ortiz was born and lives in Gage Park, Illinois. He graduated from Brother Rice High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Rep. Ortiz’s career experience includes working as a college counselor at Back of the Yards High School. He volunteered with Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s 2015 mayoral campaign in Chicago. Rep. Ortiz is a member of the Chicago Teachers Union.

Hon. Theresa Mah, 2nd District

Rep. Theresa Mah was born in San Francisco, California, and lives in Chicago, Illinois. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from University of California, Berkely in 1991 and her Ph.D. in U.S. social and cultural history, race and ethnicity, Asian American history from the University of Chicago in 1999. Rep. Mah’s career experience includes working as the senior policy advisor for Pat Quinn, director of development for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and an adjunct professor in Asian American studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mah is the first Asian American to serve in the Illinois House of Representatives as the State Representative for District 2.

Hon. Eva Dina Delgado, 3rd District 

Rep. Delgado has a career that spans more than 20 years in both public and private sector leadership. For over a decade, she worked for the City of Chicago and the CTA, serving as the first female Director of Governmental and Public Affairs. She has worked hard to limit property tax increases and create protections against home foreclosures. Rep. Delgado is a proud daughter of immigrants who came to this country with nothing, and became teachers. As a woman of color, she has fought to be heard, and will continue to advocate on behalf of her community. As a Chicago mom, she also knows first hand the issues that face every working family in Illinois.

Hon. Delia Ramirez, 4th District

Rep. Ramirez was born and lives in Humboldt Park, Illinois. She earned a bachelor’s degree in justice studies from Northeastern Illinois University. Ramirez’s career experience includes working as the executive director of Center for Changing Lives, and as the deputy director for the Community Renewal Society. She cofounded the Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON), which is a faith-driven ministry, welcoming immigrants into our churches and communities by providing free, high-quality immigration legal services, education, and advocacy.

Hon. Lamont Robinson, 5th District

Rep. Lamont Robinson Jr. was born and lives in Chicago, Illinois. He earned a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing from Clark Atlanta University in 2004, and his MBA in business administration from National Louis University in 2012. Robinson’s career experience includes owning and operating Robinson and Associates-Allstate. He is currently a member on the Board of Quad Communities Development Corporation.

Hon. Chris Welch, 7th District

Rep. Chris Welch was born and lives in Chicago, Illinois. Welch earned his B.S. in speech from Northwestern University in 1993 and his J.D. from The John Marshall Law School in 1997. His professional experience includes working as a partner at the law firm of Sanchez, Daniels & Hoffman Limited Liability Partnership, a weekend assignment editor for WGN-TV, Channel 9 News, Associate for James J. Roche & Associates, and partner at Sanchez/Daniels/Hoffman Limited Liability Partnership. He was elected and currently serves as president of the board of the Proviso Township High Schools, District 209.

Lakesia Collins, candidate, 9th District

As a nursing home worker, Rep. Lakesia Collins was overworked and underpaid. As a single mom of three boys, she’s keenly aware of the safety concerns our children face each and every day. Working in nursing homes that were understaffed, she knows the impacts of low staffing levels and heavy workloads have on both workers and patients. That’s why she became a leader in her union, SEIU Healthcare Illinois. She helped to pass a groundbreaking nursing home reform bill in 2010 that raised standards and became a model for the rest of the country to follow. Lakesia is a working voice for working families for a change.

Hon. Jawaharial Williams, 10th District

Rep. Williams is a graduate of Northeastern University where he studied Criminal Justice, member of the Laborers’ International Union of North America and Plumbers Local 130 UA, and former president of the Young Democrats of Illinois. In 2019, he was appointed to become a State Representative for the 10th District. His top priorities include gun violence prevention, jobs, and school funding.

Hon. Ann Williams, 11th District

Prior to becoming a State Representative, Ann received her law degree from Drake University Law School and her undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Iowa. She has always been committed to serving the community. While in law school, she clerked at the Legal Assistance Foundation, Women’s Law Project, and was among the first recipients of the Public Interest Scholarship at Drake University. As a new attorney, Ann volunteered at Pro Bono Advocates, helping victims of domestic violence obtain orders of protection. Ann has years of experience in the public and private sectors working on behalf of the people of Illinois. She currently serves on the board of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence and was formerly on the board of Personal PAC, an advocacy organization committed to maintaining access to reproductive healthcare.

Margret Croke, candidate, 12th District

Margaret is the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). Prior to joining DCEO, Margaret served on Governor JB Pritzker’s transition team and was the statewide Women’s Outreach Director for Pritzker’s gubernatorial campaign. Before JB’s campaign, Margaret was Executive Assistant to the Director of Legislative Council and Government Affairs for Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Office, Illinois Regional Field Director to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, and Director of Scheduling & Advance for Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer. Margaret is a proud University of Michigan graduate where she received her B.A. in political science and communications. An Oak Park native, she currently lives in Old Town with her husband Patrick, her son PJ and her two dogs Winston and Charlie, and a rotating cohort of foster dogs through ALIVE Rescue.

Hon. Greg Harris, 13th District

Greg Harris was elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 2006 and is Majority Leader of the House of Representatives. Harris serves as State Representative for the 13 th District which includes parts of Uptown, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, North Center, West Ridge and Bowmanville. Harris is a gay elected official in the State of Illinois, who is also openly living with HIV, and is the first openly gay person in Illinois to become a member of Legislative Leadership. He is Chairman of the Rules Committee, and serves on the Appropriation–Human Services Committee and Wages and Rates Subcommittee. He is a member of the Illinois Juvenile Justice Leadership Council and the joint Legislative Health Insurance Exchange Committee. He also serves as chairman on the Violence Prevention Task Force and is a member of the Racial and Ethnic Impact Research Task Force, the Quality of Life Board and the House Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment.

Denyse Stoneback, candidate, 16th District

Denyse Wang Stoneback was born and raised in Skokie, IL and has been a resident for over 30 years. She pursued her undergraduate education at Marquette University and her graduate education at Complutense University of Madrid. Her career experience includes working as an English teacher and translator, as well as working in the educational publishing field. Following the Sandy Hook School shooting in 2012, Denyse founded People for a Safer Society, an Illinois nonprofit organization to fight gun violence. She helped pass landmark gun safety legislation, and was instrumental in stopping the opening of a gun shop and range on Howard Street in Niles, near Niles West High School.

Hon. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, 17th District 

Born and raised in Oak Park, and a public-school graduate, Jennifer earned her Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, her law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and her Masters in Law from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. As the granddaughter of Chinese immigrants who fought deportation under the Chinese Exclusion Acts, Jennifer has been a determined fighter for the voiceless and the vulnerable her entire adult life.

Hon. Robyn Gabel, 18th District 

Gabel earned her B.A. in Anthropology from Beloit College in 1975, her M.P.H. in Public Health from the University of Illinois in 1979 and her M.J. in Health Law from Loyola University Law School, Chicago. Her professional experience includes working as the Executive Director of the Illinois Maternal and Child Health Coalition from 1988 to 2010, as Co-director of Chicago Women’s Health Center from 1980 to 1987, as Training Coordinator for Planned Parenthood from 1979 to 1980 and as a legislative aid to Alderman (now Congressman) Luis Gutierrez.

Hon. Lindsey LaPointe, 19th District

Following the footsteps of her mother, Lindsey LaPointe started her career in social work, working with children with special needs, adults with disabilities, and seniors in need of help. This on the groundwork drew her into policy advocacy in Illinois, which she did for 8 years before becoming our state representative. Across the state, she’s worked with elected officials, policy experts, and law enforcement officers to find smart ways to approach crime – saving taxpayers money and making our communities safer. In the neighborhood, she’s helped residents in need and led community groups. With a lifelong commitment to service, Lindsey is ready to lead the district with compassion by listening and working with every resident.

Michelle Darbo, candidate, 20th District

Michelle grew up in the south suburbs and moved to Chicago when she was 18 years old and off to college. She attended the University of Chicago, where she participated in three varsity sports and graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies. After graduation, she found her calling serving the public as a paramedic, and has worked in EMS for over 13 years. She joined the Chicago Fire Department in 2012, and has since become a firefighter as well. Michelle and her wife, Erika, now live in Norwood Park. She enjoys her helping people every day in her line of work, and hopes to continue serving the public as a Representative in Springfield.

Hon. Edgar Gonzalez Jr., 21st District  

Edgar Gonzalez Jr. is a lifelong resident of Little Village, Chicago and the current State Representative of the 21st District. Attending CPS schools from K-12, Edgar is the first in his family to graduate from college. He graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in Government and a minor in Economics. While at Harvard, Edgar knew he wanted to return to Chicago and serve his community, and began working as a constituency services liaison for Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, specializing in casework and outreach ranging from immigration and social security to veterans, criminal justice, and education.

Hon. Kam Buckner, 26th District

Buckner obtained a B.A. from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law. As a college student, Buckner interned for U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). He previously worked as executive director of World Sport Chicago and as manager of neighborhood and government relations for the Chicago Cubs

Hon. Justin Slaughter, 27th District

Slaughter earned degrees in political science and public policy and administration from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. His professional experience includes working in the Cook County Bureau of Administration and in the office of the Secretary to the Board of Commissioners. He was previously a policy adviser to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

Hon. Thaddeus Jones, 29th District

Thaddeus is a graduate of Bloom Trail High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Loyola University. He is also the first African-American alderman of Calumet City’s Third Ward founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Jones Foundation. He formerly served as Student Trustee at South Suburban College, member of the Calumet City Library Board; proud father of two sons.

Hon. Mary Flowers, 31st District

Rep. Flowers was born in Mississippi and has lived in Chicago since she was a child. She attended Kennedy King Community College and University of Illinois-Chicago, is married, and has one daughter and one granddaughter. Much of her work in the state legislature has focused much of her work on and child welfare matters.

Hon. Andre Thapedi, 32nd District

Rep. Thapedi earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College and his J.D. from John Marshall Law School. His professional experience includes working as an Attorney with Earl L. Neal and Associates, LLC, Managing Broker of Shore Realty LLC, Attorney for Swanson, Martin, and Bell LLC and a partner in the Thapedi and Thapedi Law Firm. Two of his top issues are currently increasing funding for public safety and mental health services.

Hon. Nick Smith, 34th District

Rep. Smith’s civic involvement began decades ago with his deep love for volunteering. Prior to being elected, he served as a commissioner for the Roseland Medical District, and on the Chicago Police Department 5th District Advisory Council. Throughout his years he has visited Springfield on many occasions, as a guest of the recently retired State Senator Donne Trotter or as an advocate for Chicago State University. Receiving his primary and secondary education from the Chicago Public School system, Nick’s attended Robert A. Black Magnet School, Whitney Young Magnet High School, Florida A&M University, Olive Harvey College, and Chicago State University. He was conferred a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and has taken graduate courses in community and economic development, higher education administration and briefly studied law at Northern Illinois University.

Michelle Fadeley, candidate, 37th District

Michelle grew up in Northwest Indiana and graduated from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University – Purdue University in Indianapolis. She was a direct admit to the Kelley School of Business and Honors Program, and completed three majors- Marketing, International Business, and Distribution Management in 4 years. In 2016, Michelle co-founded ERA Illinois, a statewide coalition which successfully pushed for Illinois’ adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), a constitutional amendment guaranteeing all Americans equality and freedom regardless of sex.

Hon. Will Guzzardi, 39th District

Rep. Guzzardi earned his Bachelor’s in Comparative Literature from Brown University. His professional experience includes working in communications at the University of Chicago, as a reporter at Huffington Post Chicago and has tutored children in after school programs. Will originally ran because he believes that Democrats should stand up for basic decency for everyone and as one of the leading progressive voices in Illinois politics, Will has continued that fight since his election.

Hon. Jaime Andrade, 40th District

Rep. Andrade attended DePaul University and Driehaus College of Business’ School of Accountancy. His professional experience includes serving as an assistant to former Chicago Ald. Dick Mell for more than a decade. He is very committed to ensuring that constituent needs are promptly and sufficiently met. He spends time walking door-to-door every week to be accessible and find solutions to residents’ problems, helping connect them to the right resources who may be able to help. He has served as the 40th District’s State Representative since 2013 and his top priorities include schools, public safety, and affordable housing.

Janet Yang Rohr, candidate, 41st District

As a mother, school board member, and businesswoman, Janet Yang Rohr is a committed leader who will fight to reduce the tax burden facing hard-working families, increase access to health care, and put the needs of the residents of the 41st House District first and foremost. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Economics from Northwestern University and a Master of Business Administration in Finance, Accounting, and Entrepreneurship from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is currently the Director of Global Data at investment data and research firm, Morningstar. Janet joined the Naperville District 203 School Board in 2017 to ensure that all students have the opportunities they need to be successful.

Ken Mejia-Beal, candidate, 42nd District

As a long-time resident, community activist, and a leader in the financial sector, Ken Mejia-Beal has spent the better part of his life helping others in his community. As a young professional in DuPage County, Ken worked as a mortgage manager, helping citizens affected by the housing crisis receive a hand up through the government-sponsored HARP program. But his work in the southwest suburban community did not stop there. As an activist and community organizer, he has experience in discussing affordable housing, climate justice, and affordable healthcare with elected members of the Illinois General Assembly. As a member of the Advisory Panel of Equality Illinois and the DuPage NAACP, Ken understands the socioeconomic struggles faced by all communities, and has dedicated a large part of his career towards alleviating these disparities in common-sense, bipartisan ways.

Hon. Anna Moeller, 43rd District

Rep. Moeller is an experienced public administration professional working in economic development, community planning, budgeting and non-profit management. In 2012 she was named to the inaugural class of the Edgar Fellowship program created by former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar and was admitted into the Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society for Public Administration and Public Policy in 1999. She is an active volunteer in the Elgin community and has served on the Human Relations Commission, Planning and Development Commission, as Vice-President of the Northeast Neighborhood Association, Treasurer of the Channing Elementary School PTO, tutor for the Literacy Connection, member of the design team for the Elgin Math and Science Elementary School and as an elected member of the Elgin City Council.

Hon. Diane Pappas, 45th District

Diane is a political newcomer tired of business as usual in Springfield. Born in Communist Poland, Diane emigrated to the United States at age 11 and grew up in Addison and Roselle. Diane attended local elementary schools and graduated from Lake Park High School. Diane graduated from Michigan State University with High Honors and two Bachelor of Arts degrees and then earned her Juris Doctor degree from the Yale Law School. After her law school graduation, Diane and her husband settled in Itasca, where they have lived for over 23 years. Diane was a member of ICARE, an Itasca citizen’s group that successfully opposed a proposed expansion of Irving Park Road through the historic Itasca downtown. She served five years as President of the Friends of the Itasca Community Library and, as of March, 2018, she is an elected Democratic Precinct Committeeman of Addison Township Precinct 23. Diane’s involvement in these activities stem from her desire to give back and help keep her community a first-rate place to work, live and raise a family. She will do the same for us in Springfield as a State Representative for District 45.

Jennifer Zordani, candidate, 47th District

Jennifer Zordani lives in Clarendon Hills. She was born in Oak Lawn and raised in Burr Ridge, attending Gower Junior High in Burr Ridge and Benet Academy in Lisle for high school. Jennifer attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. for two years, before transferring to the University of Chicago where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. She also attended Chicago-Kent College of Law, graduating with honors. She has been a practicing regulatory attorney for more than 20 years, and as a lawyer she solves problems and finds solutions.

Hon. Terra Costa Howard, 48th District

Born and raised in DuPage County, Rep Howard has lived in the 48th district for more than 20 years. Rep. Howard is a lawyer, a small business owner, a teacher, a wife, a mother, and a tireless advocate for children and people in need. She holds a B.A. in political science and speech communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a law degree from DePaul University.

Maura Hirschauer, candidate, 49th District 

Maura is a mother, activist, community organizer, and former elementary educator. She graduated from Colby College in Waterville, Maine with a BA in English and pursued her love of teaching at the University of Colorado, Denver with a focus on Special Education. She currently serves as the President of the Batavia Mothers’ Club Foundation, a philanthropic organization supporting the needs of women, children, and families in the Fox Valley. In this position, she oversees its fundraisers and community service projects, and the disbursement of all proceeds to area not-for-profit organizations and schools. In January of 2018 Maura became one of the founding members of the Kane and Kendall County chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, holding the positions of Membership and Legislative Lead.

Hon. Mary Edly-Allen, 51st District

As an educator, a mother, and a longtime advocate for children, Rep. Edly-Allen brings a hometown voice and a proven record of service to Springfield. . Rep. Edly-Allen went to Northeastern Illinois University, where she graduated with a B.A. in education and a master’s degree in education from National Louis University. Since 2006, Rep. Edly-Allen has worked in bilingual education in the Grayslake public schools. As a volunteer, Mary co-founded a community organization that raises money and identifies new sources of funding to improve schools without increasing the burden on property owners. She also has worked to promote school diversity, to make sure that all students are welcomed and treated fairly in our public schools. As our State Representative in the 51st District, Mary Edly-Allen uses her voice to stand up for our students, our environment, and our fundamental rights as Americans.

Hon. Mark Walker, 53rd District

Rep. Walker has been an Arlington Heights resident with his wife Joan for more than 30 years. They have one son. He is active father and community volunteer, decorated Vietnam veteran and veterans’ advocate. He served as a state representative from 2009-2011. Management expert and entrepreneur with a long career in financial services, community development and quality consulting. He was also a recipient of the Abner Mikva award for political courage, former board member and treasurer for Journeys-The Road Home, an organization serving homeless individuals and families.

Maggie Trevor, candidate, 54th District

Maggie was born and raised in Rolling Meadows, where her parents were among the city’s original residents. She was educated in District 15 and 214 schools. She attended the University of Chicago, earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in political science. After a research fellowship at the Government Data Center at Harvard University, Maggie taught political science at the University of Iowa. She left academia in 1999 to work as a business researcher, first with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals in Oakland, California, and then with Blue Shield of California. In 2011, Maggie joined YouGov America, an internet public opinion firm in Silicon Valley, first as an operations executive and then as vice president of YouGov Healthcare. She returned to Rolling Meadows to establish my own research firm in 2015 – just in time to witness what the Illinois budget crisis did to the state and its residents. Compromise and persuasion are useful skills that she acquired through long experience in the business world – skills that are essential to the work of responsible representatives who know their job is to put the needs of their constituents ahead of divisive, partisan politics.

Hon. Michelle Mussman, 56th District

Just a few years ago, Rep. Mussman was a mom and PTA member who, like many area residents, was frustrated with state government’s debt and dysfunction. After years of tough economic conditions, skyrocketing property taxes and poor leadership, Rep. Mussman decided to step up and dedicate herself to trying to help her community and state navigate these difficult times.

Hon. Jonathan Carroll, 57th District

Rep. Carroll wants to ensure that his children see the better side of politics and learn to love the state as much as he does. In addition to his work as a state representative, Rep. Carroll helps individuals with various cognitive challenges like ADHD meet personal, professional and educational goals. As a certified Special Education teacher, Rep. Carrol has been helping individuals his whole career. He is a lifelong resident of Illinois and his passions reflect the community: creating jobs, reducing Illinois’ massive property tax burden, ensuring great schools, sensible gun control, consolidating redundant layers of government and protecting a woman’s right to choose. Rep. Carroll received a B.A. in Communications from DePaul University in Chicago and a M.A. in Learning Disabilities from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.

Hon. Bob Morgan, 58th District

As an attorney, father, and advocate, Rep. Morgan will fight for a balanced state budget to support human services and quality education. An attorney at the law firm of Much Shelist, Rep. Morgan regularly navigates state government on behalf of local businesses and individuals. He has managed both the passage of legislation, and the complexities of making government more efficient. Bob served as the lead healthcare attorney for the State of Illinois where he was instrumental in securing health care for over 650,000 Illinois residents and ensured they were covered under ACA’s Medicaid expansion. He will protect the rights of immigrants, women, seniors, and the LGBTQ community and work to secure healthcare access for all.

Hon. Dan Didech, 59th District

Rep. Didech was raised in Buffalo Grove by a family of small business owners. A graduate of Stevenson High School and District 96 schools, after completing law school Daniel returned to the community with his wife, Jen, who is a 6th grade math teacher at Twin Groves Middle School. They live together in Buffalo Grove with their dog, Captain Hook.

Hon. Joyce Mason, 61st District

Rep. Mason is first and foremost, a devoted Mom to her two children – but this year, she is working hard to make her community a better place for all of the kids and families in it. Rep. Mason is a lifelong resident of Illinois and has spent the last 20 years in Gurnee raising her kids, running her own business, teaching graduate school, and devoting a considerable amount of time volunteering in the community.

Hon. Sam Yingling, 62nd District

Rep. Yingling is a native of central Lake County and lives in Grayslake. A third-generation resident of the area, Rep. Yingling is deeply rooted in the community and has committed his life to fighting for its economic and social prosperity.

Brian Sager, candidate, 63rd District

Brian is a retired College Professor and Administrator and now spends his time serving the community, working for the Illinois Department of Agriculture as the General Livestock Superintendent of the Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs, serving as the McHenry County Representative on the Regional Transportation Authority Board of Directors, and conducting benefit auctions for local and regional charities.

Leslie Armstrong-McLeod, candidate, 64th District

Leslie is a progressive small business owner, a supporter of kindness, and champion of the underdog. She is hard-working, reasonable, and fair-minded. She fights for living wages, women’s equality, and funding our future.

Martha Paschke, candidate, 65th District

Martha believes that it is important to have representation that reflects the values of the community, which is why she is running for the opportunity to represent the people of the 65th House District. Martha is an ethical and compassionate leader who will work hard, listen to the concerns of the citizens of the 65th, and collaborate with members of the State Legislature to create solutions that work.

Suzanne Ness, candidate, 66th District

Suzanne currently serves on the McHenry County Board, after winning her election in 2018. Suzanne has lived and served in the NW Illinois area for more than 30 years. She comes from a working-class family and understands the challenges and hardships that many Illinois families face. She has been a small business owner for the past 13 years and remains active in her community.

Hon. Maurice West, 67th District 

Rep. Maurice West is a Rockford Native, serving his first term representing the 67th House District in Rockford, IL. Rep. West is heavily involved in his community. In 2014, the Register Star recognized Rep. West as one of the 14 to Watch in 2014 for his community activism. Prior to becoming a State Representative, Rep. West worked at Rockford University as the Director of Career Development since 2013. He is also an award-winning music composer.

Hon. Kathy Willis, 77th District 

Rep. Willis is serving her fourth term in the Illinois General Assembly as State Representative of the 77th District. Prior to her election as state representative, Kathleen worked as coordinator of access services at Elmhurst College Library and a part-time teacher of children’s and adolescent literature. Kathleen has always been an active member of her community. A mother of four, she served three terms as a member of the Addison Elementary District 4 school board. She has also served as vice president of the Kiwanis Club, chair of the Addison Special Events Commission and she helped organize the Mayor’s Community Charity Ball. Kathleen has a bachelor’s degree in Human Services Administration from Elmhurst College and a master’s degree in Library and Information Services from the University of Illinois. She and her husband, Tom, reside in Addison.

Hon. Camille Lilly, 78th District 

As a lifelong resident of Chicago’s Greater West Side, Rep. Lilly graduated from Oak Park-River Forest High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in management from Drake University, master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Oklahoma University, and MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Rep. Lilly also serves on the boards of Westside Health Authority, Loretto Hospital Foundation, Columbus Park Advisory Council, and Chicago Park District.

Hon. Anne Stava-Murray, 81st District

Chosen to be featured on the cover of Time Magazine, Rep. Stava-Murray is among a set of “non-traditional” candidates turned legislators who stepped up to serve in elected office as our country has taken a direction many are upset by. After graduating from Dartmouth, Rep Stava-Murray served as the “voice of the consumer” in the private sector for many years. Anne also formerly served as a Commissioner on the Naperville Board of Fire & Police as was a co-founder of the Naperville WMA (Women’s March Action).

Hon. Barbara Hernandez, 83rd District

Prior to becoming a State Representative in 2019, Rep. Hernandez served her community as a member of the Aurora Township Youth Council and Aurora Hispanic Heritage Advisory Board. Additionally, she was a member of the Kane County Board and a Founder of the Aurora Youth Summit. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Aurora University and formerly worked as Chief of Staff for state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia. Currently, Rep. Hernandez is the youngest Latina State Rep. in the state of Illinois.

Dagamara Dee Avelar, candidate, 85th District

Dagmara was born in Quito, Ecuador, and moved to Illinois at the age of 12 with her family and has called Will County her home ever since. She earned her B.A. in Justice Studies and Political Science in 2010 and is currently working on her Master’s in Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois in Chicago. A community organizer at heart, she has dedicated the last 12 years of her life to advocating for working families. She is currently the Director of Programs at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and works directly with 59 community-based organizations across the state of Illinois to address barriers to citizenship as well as language access primarily for immigrants and refugees. Dagmara, herself proudly became a naturalized U.S. citizen in April 2016.

Karla Bailey-Smith, candidate, 88th District

Karla Bailey-Smith was born in Greencastle, Indiana. She earned an undergraduate degree at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1990 and a graduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1993. Bailey-Smith’s career experience includes working as a painter and scenic artist. She has been affiliated with the United Scenic Artists labor union, the Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois, community organization Illinois People’s Action, Black Lives Matter, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, and Equality Illinois

Seth Wiggins, candidate, 90th District

Seth Wiggins was born in Dixon, Illinois. He served in the U.S. Air Force beginning in 2008. Wiggins earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University in 2014 and a J.D. from Northern Illinois University College of Law in 2017. Wiggins’s career experience includes working as an Arabic linguist with the U.S. Air Force, an aviation resource management journeyman with the Wisconsin Air National Guard, and an associate attorney with the Law Office of Allison B. Fagerman, P.C. in Rock Falls, Illinois.

Scott Stoll, candidate, 93rd District

Currently an Alderman of Rushville, Scott comes from a strong family that that has been involved with public service since the 1980’s. He is an alumni of Rockford University where he graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management. He served as President of the Rockford University Alumni Board of Directors (2013-2018), was a member of the Rushville Little League Board (2013-2018) and currently helps run Moreland & Devitt Pharmacy as Chief Operating Officer. He’s been involved civically for the past 5 years on various boards that include the topics of education, economic development, and healthcare.

Harry Benton, candidate, 97th District

Currently a Trustee for the Village of Plainfield, Harry is someone who always strives to be a champion and outspoken voice for government transparency. He is a strong supporter of small businesses, meaningful economic development, holding the line on taxes, and improving local infrastructure. He is level headed, hard working, knowledgeable, ethical, and will do what it takes to better the lives of his neighbors.

Cynthia Cunningham, candidate, 104th District

Cindy Cunningham has been interested and involved in public service all of her life. Cindy’s professional career has been focused on service to others. She has worked with senior citizens, disabled veterans, and disabled kids. Cindy’s goals for office include developing a strategy for addressing the growing needs of seniors in Illinois, the fair treatment of labor unions by the state, reaffirming our commitment to education and higher education through equitable, stable funding of our schools, colleges, and universities, changing our income tax structure to be more fair, and pushing for the fair treatment of all Illinoisans, not just the elite.

FOR COOK COUNTY STATES ATTORNEY:

Kim Fox