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ENDORSEMENT: Patrick Joyce for Illinois Senate in 40th District Democratic primary

Joyce has a solid grasp of the concerns, like water access and quality, facing this heavily rural district.

endorsement, Patrick Joyce, 2020 Illinois Senate Democratic primary election, 40th District.
State Sen. Patrick Joyce of the 40th District is endorsed by the Sun-Times in the Democratic primary.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

In a field of four candidates, state Sen. Patrick Joyce is our pick to represent this district, which includes parts of Cook, Grundy, Kankakee and Will counties.

Joyce, son of the late former state senator Jerome Joyce, was appointed to this seat last November by local Democratic leaders. He replaced Toi Hutchinson, who had resigned to become Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s cannabis policy chief. Right away, Joyce played smart politics on behalf of impoverished Pembroke Township, where residents still rely on propane gas and wood-burning to heat their homes.

When the candidates running for president of the Illinois Senate asked him, “What do you need in your district?” Joyce replied that they should order Nicor to come to the table and negotiate a deal to bring a natural gas line to the township.

“At the next local meeting,” Joyce told us, “seven Nicor representatives showed up.”

Joyce, a farmer like his father, has a strong grasp of water quality problems and other issues important to residents in this heavily rural district. He supports building an airport in the south suburbs to spur development and create jobs, but when local farmers objected because of the threat to farmland, he sat down with them. The Will County Farm Bureau has since softened its opposition.

Also in the race are Monica Gordon, executive director of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation; Marta Perales, communications secretary for the Kankakee County Democratic Party, and Lori Wilcox, city clerk of Chicago Heights.

Illinois Senate 40th District map.
Illinois Senate 40th District map.
Illustration by Caroline Hurley.

For more information about this race and others, including candidate questionnaires, go to our Illinois primary voting guide. Our newspaper is owned by a group of civic-minded and, in some cases, politically active investors; for details, see our owner information page.

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