CRYSTAL LAKE – Two faces new to McHenry County voters are running for the new congressional district that will represent most of them.
Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren and Democratic challenger Dennis Anderson are running for the new 14th Congressional District, which under post-census redistricting will cover all of McHenry County but Algonquin Township, and arc through the collar counties.
Hultgren, of Winfield, is looking for a second term in the 14th District, which now covers Kane and seven other counties west to near the Iowa state line. Anderson, a retired cancer research support director, lives in Gurnee.
Both candidates talked with the Northwest Herald Editorial Board about why they feel they are the best candidate to represent McHenry County in Congress. Both candidates also responded to the board’s candidate questionnaire, which can be read at nwherald.com/election.
Hultgren and Anderson agreed that tackling the nation’s deficit spending and $16 trillion national debt is a top priority. Both favor a line-by-line review of the federal budget to trim fat, but differed on the question of raising revenue.
Anderson said that reducing the deficit can’t be done by cuts alone. He favors allowing the Bush-era tax cuts to expire for the wealthy, and extending them for middle-class taxpayers. The cuts are set to expire at year’s end.
“It has to be a combination of both [cuts and taxes], and to do that we have to look at every line item in the federal budget and that includes defense,” Anderson said.
Both candidates agreed that “sequestration” – the automatic $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts over 10 years set to start in January because a bipartisan panel of lawmakers failed to agree on specific cuts – is a wrong way to go about reducing spending. Hultgren blamed the lack of compromise on what he called a “failure of leadership”; Anderson blamed a “failure of cooperation.”
Hultgren said the government first has to stop spending the nation further into debt, and then make it easier for small businesses to grow. Increasing revenue, he said, is accomplished by growing the economy, not taxes. Hultgren said the uncertainties of regulation, taxes and the health care law are causing small-business owners to shy away from hiring. If each hired one person, he said, the unemployment rate would take an appreciable dip.
“We’ve had 43 consecutive months of 8 percent unemployment, and it’s crippling,” Hultgren said.
The new maps move both of McHenry County’s existing congressional districts.
The 16th District is now farther west and loops around the Chicago area from Wisconsin to Indiana, and the 8th District is now farther south in Cook, Kane and DuPage counties. Longtime 16th District Republican Rep. Don Manzullo lost his re-election bid to freshman Adam Kinzinger in the primary, and 8th District freshman Rep. Joe Walsh is running against Democratic candidate Tammy Duckworth.
Illinois lost one seat in the U.S. House in the 2010 U.S. Census to faster-growing states. This is the fourth consecutive census in which Illinois lost representation.
Algonquin Township, including most of Crystal Lake, Lake in the Hills, Algonquin, Cary and Fox River Grove, will be in the 6th District, which is now represented by Republican Rep. Peter Roskam, who is being challenged by Democratic candidate Leslie Coolidge.
On the Net
Visit nwherald.com/election to learn more about the candidates and issues in the November election.
Visit http://shawurl.com/6r5 to view the new boundary maps for Illinois General Assembly and U.S. House of Representative districts, and http://shawurl.com/4q2 to view the new boundary maps for McHenry County Board districts.