This fall some voters will decide who will represent them down in the Illinois House of Representatives in Springfield. One seat up for grabs is in the 48th District, which serves part of Naperville and neighboring Lisle.
Incumbent Republican Michael Connelly wants a second term.
“I’ve had an opportunity and a privilege the last two years to represent Naperville and the 48th District,” said Connelly. “There’s a lot of work to do, and I think in the majority we can get a lot done.”
Before being elected State Representative in 2008, Connelly served on the DuPage County Board, the Village of Lisle Board of Trustees and is an attorney.
“I know exactly what people in Naperville are going through to make ends meet and to live within their means,” said Connelly. “I bring that mentality to Springfield, and hopefully by the end of next term, if I am fortunate enough to be re-elected, it will rub off on the government in Springfield.”
Connelly says convincing Navistar to locate its headquarters in Lisle is one of his biggest successes as a member of the House. He believes the Navistar move signals the first step in the transition of the I-88 corridor to a center for alternative fuel research and development.
He says if re-elected, he will focus on jobs and the state budget crisis.
“We have two hours to look at the state budget and tweak it. I mean, that’s preposterous,” he said. “With a budget deficit being like this, the voters and the taxpayers demand and deserve the opportunity to have their input heard.”
Connelly’s opponent is Democrat Barbara Green, a former journalist for the Lisle Sun. She believes she can represent the district more effectively than Connelly.
“I just think that he has not been very available to the everyday people in Lisle and doesn’t really understand their issues,” said Green.
Green is a fresh face in politics, but says she would focus on employment and balancing the budget if elected.
“We’ve had two governors in jail, and one probably on his way,” said Green. “Our system seems to be totally messed up, so I thought ‘Well, I can do better than that.’ I’ve never been in an elected office of any kind, but I thought ‘I have the smarts I can certainly do it.’”
Green believes her status as an outsider is an advantage in Springfield.
“I have no axe to grind with anybody, I’m not beholden with anybody, and I pretty much financed my whole campaign,” said Green. “I’ve lived in DuPage County my whole life. So I know this area pretty intimately. I think I know what the people like and what they’re interested in and what their values are.”
Green’s challenge is creating a compelling reason for voters in a traditionally Republican district to swing to the Democratic side of the ballot on November 2nd.
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