Two very capable Democratic candidates in musician Joe Sonnefeldt of Mount Prospect and Ann Gillespie of Arlington Heights are trying to advance to face first-term Republican Sen. Tom Rooney in November.
Both have been active in the northwest suburbs. Gillespie is a retired vice president of a mail-order pharmacy who worked to generate support for Cook County’s $13 an hour minimum wage and sick-leave ordinances. Sonnefeldt is a musician who has been on the Mount Prospect School District 57 School Board since 2011, including serving as president for the last two years.
In a nodto how evenly matched they are, both candidates have earned endorsements from organized labor. The Service Employees International Union is backing Gillespie,and the AFL-CIO is behind Sonnefeldt.
It is his work with the school board that gives Sonnefeldt a slight edge over Gillespie for our endorsement. He has a solid understanding of the issues facing schools and the property owners who have been strained to fund them because of the state’s shoddy job of funding education.
When the Democrats running in the 27th Illinois Senate District primary visited the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board on Jan. 18, we asked each to introduce themselves to voters. Here was Joe Sonnefeldt’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.
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