ENDORSEMENT: Iris Martinez in Illinois Senate 20th District Democratic primary

SHARE ENDORSEMENT: Iris Martinez in Illinois Senate 20th District Democratic primary

The Sun-Times endorses Iris Martinez, incumbent for Illinois Senate in the 20th District in the Democratic primary. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times

In 2002, IrisMartinez became the first Latina elected to the Illinois Senate. Since then, she has been an advocate in Springfield for immigrants and the working class.

We respect her long track record of serving vulnerable people in her district, and that is why we endorse her over her challenger, Bart Goldberg, an attorney who made an unsuccessful bid for 38thWard alderman in 2011.

Martinez, though, would be wise to bone up on other issues of importance to her constituents, such as pension reform and rent control. In an interview with the Sun-Times Editorial Board, her challenger schooled her on those topics.

Rent control, in particular, is a hot-button issue these days in a district that includes part of Logan Square. Property values are going up, which is terrific in many ways, but that’s putting the squeeze on long-time renters, who can’t afford the higher rents, and homeowners, who can’t afford the higher property taxes.

If Goldberg had done his homework on immigration, which really matters in a district that is slightly more than 50 percent Latino, he would be a more viable candidate.

When the Democrats running in the 20th Illinois Senate District primary visited the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board on Jan. 24, we asked each to introduce themselves to voters. Watch Sen. Martinez’s response:

EDITOR’S NOTE: Over the next few weeks, the Sun-Times will continue to offer its endorsements in competitive Chicago-area primaries, from governor down to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, including Cook County races.

To read the endorsements we have made so far — in 12 congressional races and the Cook County Democratic primary for assessor — and to read candidate questionnaires and watch video introductions, go online to our2018 Illinois Primary Voting Guide.

Election Day isMarch 20. Early voting at satellite facilities beginsMarch 5.

Send letters to: letters@suntimes.com

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