ENDORSEMENT: Brian Sager for Illinois House in 63rd District Democratic primary

Sager, a fiscal conservative, is the smart pick to go against an incumbent Republican in November.

SHARE ENDORSEMENT: Brian Sager for Illinois House in 63rd District Democratic primary
Brian Sager, candidate in the Illinois House of Representatives 63rd District Democratic primary, is endorsed by the Sun-Times.

Brian Sager is endorsed by the Sun-Times for Illinois House in the 63rd District Democratic primary.

Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

You might wonder, were you to visit his office, why longtime Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager has pictures of bridges on the walls.

Those pictures, Sager will tell you, symbolize how he sees his job: Building bridges across political divides.

Sager is a former Republican running as a Democrat for this House seat. He has always worked both sides of the fence, walking as a Republican in parades and serving as a Republican precinct committeeman, even as he has allied himself with the moderate Democrat, Jack Franks, who held this seat for years. Sager really earned the GOP’s ire, though, when he endorsed Franks to become chair of the McHenry County Board.

Sager, a retired professor of international development who has served as the mayor of Woodstock since 2005, is more aligned with the Democratic Party on social issues and more with the GOP on fiscal issues.

Under his leadership, the Woodstock City Council actually cut municipal property taxes by 10% in 2017, after eight years of holding the line on tax increases. Curbing the property tax burden made it easier, no doubt, to sell residents on the need for small increases in sales and gas taxes to pay for street improvements.

Sager knows what he’s talking about, instinctively seeks common ground and can boast of a wealth of experience in public life that is rare for a guy running for the state House for the first time. We endorse him strongly.

Sager is opposed by Peter Janko, president of a company that restores and recreates historic lighting fixtures. The winner of this primary race will face incumbent Republican Rep. Steve Reick in the Nov. 3 general election.

Illinois House 63rd District map.

Illinois House 63rd 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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