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ENDORSEMENT: Mark Batinick for Illinois House in the 97th District

When Mark Batinick dropped by for an endorsement interview a few days ago, we had a good conversation.

Batinick insisted that a proposed state law prohibiting employers from asking job candidates how much money they earn in their current job was bad for everybody — employers and job-seekers alike. We said he misunderstood how the law would work, and we explained.

Neither side convinced the other, but you could see it in his eyes — this guy wasn’t afraid to hear others out. And as he left the meeting, he said he’d have to think this one over.

Batinick, a Republican, is by far the more experienced and knowledgeable candidate in this race, and we endorse him. He’s got a libertarian streak that keeps both Republicans and Democrats on their toes.

Batinick’s Democratic opponent, Mica Freeman, a former teacher, got into the race because she was appalled that Batinick didn’t vote for a health care bill last year that protects people with pre-existing conditions. But her command of the issues is too weak.

Illinois House 97th District map

Illinois House 97th District map

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Ahead of the historic 2018 elections, the Sun-Times is teaming up weekly with the Better Government Association, in print and online, to fact-check the truthfulness of the candidates. You can find all of the PolitiFact Illinois stories we’ve reported together here.