In the lead-up to her bid for a 32nd Senate District seat, McHenry Township Assessor Mary Mahady met with the Northwest Herald Editorial Board to talk about her campaign.
Editor Jon Styf asked Mahady something some have been wondering: If elected, would she still be assessor?
“Probably not,” Mahady said.
Although it’s been an honor to serve in the elected post for many years, the McHenry Democrat said, Mahady would rather focus her energy on shaping policy in Springfield, where her effect could be more substantial.
“They don’t want to see me leave, but they also know the best place I can make any change is at the state level, because no matter what I can do as the assessor, my hands are tied because of the state laws,” Mahady said. “I know how to fix those, and that’s the goal.”
The response elicited a jab from her Republican opponent, Craig Wilcox, who highlighted a time when Mahady said she planned to keep her job.
“That’s rather interesting, Mary, given that you’e on the public record stating that you intended to keep the assessor’s office,” Wilcox said. “Glad that you’ve changed your mind, because I’ve heard that people think the Senate is a part-time position and the assessor’s a part-time position, and that’s certainly not the case.
“We believe that you’re going to be putting so much effort in Springfield that there’s no way you handle another elected office. I’m kind of glad to hear that answer now, but I know that’s a change from before.”
Wilcox resigned his seat on the McHenry County Board to allow GOP officials in McHenry and Lake counties to appoint him to a vacant 32nd Senate District seat. Former state Sen. Pamela Althoff vacated her post to run in an uncontested race for District 4 on the County Board.
“I’ve done a lot to help the residents of the district, of the township for sure, and that’s a pretty big mountain to climb,” Mahady said of a Senate post in Springfield. “The focus really has to be on doing that and focusing on that at the state level.”
In interviews with the editorial board, both Wilcox and Mahady agreed that the state must figure out how to reform the pension system and fund education in order to lighten a McHenry County tax burden forcing droves of residents to flee for affordable homes.