Candidates Focus on Education, Ethics, Economic Growth

Article excerpt

Illinois House District 55, Republican

In House District 55, incumbent Republican Randy Ramey of Carol Stream is trying to fend off challenges from Pamela Fenner, also of Carol Stream, and Matt Fuesting of West Chicago.

There is no Democrat running in the March 21 primary. However, the party can slate a candidate for the fall election.

The 55th district includes all or part of Bartlett, South Elgin, Wayne, St. Charles, Carol Stream, Hanover Park and West Chicago.

The Daily Herald posed questions to the candidates. These are their responses. Some have been edited to comply with the requested 150-word limit.

Q. Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election the first time: Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is that? What will be your main priority in office?

Fenner. As a parent, small business owner and long-time civic leader, I know the challenge we face balancing work and family. I want to represent my community in Springfield as a state representative because I want to work for what's important by addressing issues that positively impact our quality of life.

My priority will remain the same as it has been during my tenure as an elected and appointed official, which is serving my constituents. Their issues will be my issues. While we face many challenges in the state of Illinois, it is critical we work to keep taxes at reasonable levels while providing our children with the best education possible. Education funding, while balancing the state's budget, has to be a priority for our state.

Fuesting. I made my decision to run for state representative because it is time for a change. I believe the residents of the 55th District deserve an elected official with a new vision and a new attitude. This can only be achieved by truly giving the citizens a voice in Springfield.

As a former prosecutor in Kane and DuPage counties, my job was to provide citizens a voice in the criminal justice system. The personal motivation for me was the ability to help change someone's life for the better by advocating on his or her behalf.

When I was a prosecutor, it was not about carrying a badge, it was about the positive feedback from having individuals say 'you really helped me get through this.' I will take that same attitude to Springfield and focus on my three priorities of education employment and infrastructure.

Ramey. I am running for a full-term in the House because I have always valued public service and enjoy helping people. I am there to represent the middle class people and give them a voice that will respond to their needs. I would like to return government to local control, understanding that one size doesn't fit all.

My current service in the House has been a great experience helping hundreds of constituents in a variety of ways, from cutting red tape to collecting coats for the poor to aiding our returning military veterans in accessing services that they have earned.

I am most motivated by reducing the tax burden on our working families and our seniors. We can do that by streamlining government through some privatization of services and by freezing property tax assessments on seniors who are long-time homeowners that have more than paid their fair share of taxes.

Q. For incumbents and non-incumbents: If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of important initiatives you've led. If you are not an incumbent, tell us what contributions you would make.

Fenner. I am proud of my work as an elected trustee of the Carol Stream village board since 1993, as a member of the DuPage Mayors and Managers Legislative Committee, as a founding member of the Carol Stream Chamber of Commerce, and as a member of the DuPage Housing Authority.

In these roles, I have had the ability to take complex issues, build consensus and effect positive change in our community. …