United States House Final Approvals. Budzinski, Underwood, King – Chicago Tribune
This is the latest installment of endorsements from the Tribune editorial board for the U.S. House races in the Nov. 8 general election.
After Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, President Donald Trump loyalists launched a lawsuit in Texas in a bogus attempt to overturn Biden’s legitimate victory. Many of Trump’s enablers in Congress signed a brief in support of the half-baked effort, including U.S. Representative Mike Bost, a Republican from downstate Murphysboro. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit, but Illinois must never forget the cynical refusal of Bost and other Trump supporters to accept that the former president was undeniably defeated.
Bost’s Democratic opponent, Homer “Chip” Markel of Carbondale, is a retired corrections officer from Illinois who needs local political experience before making the jump to Congress.
Bost has served as that district’s representative in Washington since 2015, but we can’t support him in this race. No approval.
It’s not just the Republican nominee vying for this remapped downstate district who thinks Biden’s decision to write off college debt is a bad way to spend American taxpayers’ money.
“I don’t think that’s the best way to tackle college affordability,” Democrat Nikki Budzinski said at a candidates’ forum hosted by Illinois Public Media this month. “I’m concerned about how we would pay for this type of initiative.” Budzinski thinks a better approach would be to allow students to refinance their loans the same way homeowners refinance their mortgages. Makes sense.
Budzinski’s resume includes work as Governor JB Pritzker’s senior adviser on labor issues, as well as chief of staff for Biden’s Office of Management and Budget. His moderate views and solid background should appeal to voters in this district, which stretches from East St. Louis to Champaign and includes parts of Decatur and Springfield. She is also a strong supporter of abortion rights and champions gun control measures such as the federal ban on assault weapons.
His Republican opponent, Regan Deering, is a Decatur philanthropist and the granddaughter of the late Archer Daniels Midland CEO Dwayne Andreas. Deering supported the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and sees no need for new gun control measures in the wake of recent mass shootings in Highland Park, Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo. “I think we have good laws on the books,” she told the forum. Budzinski is the best choice for this neighborhood and gets our approval.
Democratic incumbent Lauren Underwood of Naperville likes to tout her track record to get things done in Washington — and she should.
After joining Congress in 2019, she had 10 of her bills signed into law, six under President Trump and four under Biden. One of these bills made lower-cost generic insulin available to patients more quickly. She was also accessible to residents of this western suburban neighborhood, holding more than 40 town hall meetings to better understand voter concerns. She is a passionate supporter of abortion rights and calls the work of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising on Capitol Hill “remarkable.”
His Republican opponent, Scott Gryder of Oswego, continues to dodge the question of whether he thinks Biden was legitimately elected president. He told us that “in the rush to confirm Joe Biden’s election by interested parties, evidence of election irregularities was not fully considered.” Gryder, who is Kendall County Council chairman, is doing his party, or America for that matter, a disservice by stoking doubt about the results of the 2020 presidential election. Our endorsement goes to Underwood.
It would be hard to find anyone more entrenched in the Trump camp than South Oakland Republican incumbent Mary Miller. On January 6, 2021, she voted against certifying Joe Biden’s election as president, falsely claiming the results were tainted with voter fraud. She also called the House’s effort to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising a “sham” and said the best way to fight authoritarian dictators is to “re-elect Donald Trump.” It’s a ridiculous idea. //
Miller’s opponent, Democrat Paul Lange, is a retired commodities broker from Quincy who is running a grassroots campaign. We don’t do any endorsements in this race.
When a politician makes a decision with potentially disastrous ramifications for American democracy, it can undermine everything else he has done in power. This is the case of US Representative Darin LaHood, a Republican from Peoria.
We supported him in 2016, 2018 and 2020, viewing him as an independent, principled conservative who called on Democrats to spend recklessly and supported free and fair trade deals that were good for farmers in his district. But like his downstate GOP colleague Mike Bost, LaHood signed a court brief in support of a specious last-minute effort by Texas to nullify the 2020 presidential election by invalidating Biden’s victories. in Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin based on unsubstantiated allegations of fraud.
He also voted against impeaching Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising on Capitol Hill. To his credit, on Jan. 6, he voted to certify Biden as president and told us that nullifying the Electoral College results “would far exceed the power granted to Congress and the vice president in the Constitution, would set a bad precedent and usurp”. the will of the American people. We commend him for that, but we cannot endorse his decision just after the election to join the amicus curiae brief from Texas.
Her opponent is Democrat Lisa Haderlein, a city councilwoman from the northwest suburb of Harvard, who admitted to Us that she doesn’t have “all the answers, but I’m compassionate and hardworking.” The Tribune makes no endorsement in this race.
Republican Esther Joy King, 36, says she can sympathize with families struggling to bear the blow of rising inflation. She grew up in Juarez, Mexico, and for the first three years of her life her family was homeless. She blames the Biden administration’s spending policies for the shape the economy is in right now. “People in northwest and central Illinois are struggling and all the administration can talk about is more spending,” she told us.
The East Moline lawyer’s impressive experience includes work as a women’s rights aid worker in Afghanistan and service as a member of the US Army Reserve Judge Advocate General Corps. Her Democratic opponent, Eric Sorensen, is a 46-year-old former meteorologist from Rockford who supports federal codification of women’s abortion rights and reform of the congressional budget process to reduce the federal deficit.
That’s fine, but our support in the 17th goes to the Republican, King.