Abortion, Gun Control Help Define Candidates
Krol, Eric, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Eric Krol Daily Herald Staff Writer
Nowhere is the difference between the four candidates vying to replace State Rep. Suzanne Deuchler more clear than on the issues of gun control and abortion.
In recent years, the two issues have become a sort of litmus test to tell whether a Republican candidate is moderate or conservative. It's certainly a test that applies in this race to represent Geneva, Batavia and Aurora down in Springfield.
Simply put, Batavia Alderman Tim Schmitz and Aurora activist Ravi Singh are opposed to abortion; Geneva attorney Patrick Jaeger and Aurora insurance agent Jim Pilmer favor abortion rights.
When it comes to gun control, Schmitz and Singh are opposed, even going so far as to support legislation to allow concealed weapons. Jaeger and Pilmer are the opposite, opposing conceal-and-carry measures and supporting a ban on assault rifles.
The candidates' differing views set up Schmitz and Singh as the conservatives and Jaeger and Pilmer as the moderates in the March 17 Republican primary. The winner will face unopposed Aurora Democrat Juan Thomas in the November election.
The four candidates' views on abortion and gun control were expressed Wednesday during a Daily Herald endorsement interview.
Schmitz and Singh said they are morally opposed to abortion, while Pilmer said he's definitely "pro-life" but not "anti-choice." Jaeger said he finds abortion "abhorrent," but does not think the government should legislate morality.
All four candidates agree, however, that the state legislature was correct in passing a parental notification law that requires doctors to inform parents 48 hours before their teenage daughter is scheduled to have an abortion.
That measure has stalled in the courts for two years, largely because legislators asked the Illinois Supreme Court to set up the rules on how a teenage girl could bypass the parental notification requirement in an emergency basis. …