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McHenry County Board member to run for Illinois House Seat

Carolyn Schofield, one of the newly elected McHenry County Board members, laughs during a meeting.
Carolyn Schofield, one of the newly elected McHenry County Board members, laughs during a meeting.

McHenry County Board Member Carolyn Schofield announced Tuesday that she would be running for the 66th Illinois House of Representatives seat currently filled by state Rep. Allen Skillicorn, R-East Dundee.

Both had sought the Republican nomination for the seat in 2016. Although Schofield had carried McHenry County in the March 2016 primary, Skillicorn received 4,816 next to Schofield’s 4,211 votes. A third candidate, Dan Wilbrandt, received 3,962 votes. Schofield said the big thing that has changed this time around is Skillicorn’s record of being unable to pass legislation.

“[Skillicorn] has got a record of inefficiency, and I have a continued one of wanting to work hard for the people,” Schofield said. “It’s a completely different [election] this time in that people are paying attention.”

Schofield added that the 66th District has experienced a lack of representation both to constituents and to the needs of McHenry County Board members.

“It’s really difficult as a board member when you don’t have legislators willing to carry legislation that we need to run more efficiently and effectively and they won’t have conservations of what we need at the state level,” Schofield said.

Schofield also referenced Skillicorn’s allusion to a Congressional bid in the 14th District, which currently is held by U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood.

“[Skillicorn] won’t say which office he’s running for in 2020,” Schofield said in a release. “While he wallows in a state of indecision, I stand committed to serving the people of the 66th District where reforms have the greatest financial impact – at the state level. High property taxes and pension debt are the biggest issue here, and those problems are solved at the state level, not in Congress.”

Skillicorn, however, said in a statement Thursday that there never was a tax increase Schofield didn’t like.

“[Schofield] once told Kane County GOP Executive Vice Chairman Jeff Meyer that the reason she supported so many property tax increases over the years was because the voters were not paying attention,” Skillicorn said. “Public servants should always be on guard for the taxpayers whether they are paying attention or not because protecting taxpayers’ hard-earned money is the right thing to do.”

Schofield said she is assuming Skillicorn’s comments were based off her time on the Crystal Lake City Council, where tax levies had been increased to capture new growth. However, she said her record while serving on the McHenry County Board speaks for itself.

“We’ve tried to be prudent on our financials,” Schofield said. “We’ve been making every effort to do that and we’re continuing to do that at the county board. The last six years of my record are more indicative of where I’m at today and where I’ll go in the future.”

Before serving on the county board, Schofield served on the Crystal Lake City Council from 2009-12 and on the Crystal Lake Planning and Zoning Committee for 10 years.

Schofield’s announcement came with a message of consensus and common ground between both sides of the aisle in Springfield. One way Schofield said she has lived up to that message is her work on the $15 million Valley Hi rebate.

She said the issue was extremely controversial and she worked hard to give citizens the option of what they wanted to do with the returned money.

“I worked really hard with several of my board members and the board chairman to find a good way to make everyone have a choice and empower people to make their own decisions,” Schofield said.

Skillicorn argued that it was “consensus” that established a 32% income tax increase in 2017, doubled the state’s motor fuel tax this year and created the state’s pension crisis.

“Consensus is a fancy way of voicing support for the failed policies that are bankrupting our state,” Skillicorn said. “The Illinois General Assembly already has a bunch of tax hikers. We don’t need more. My record on taxes speaks for itself. I have and will continue to stand up for taxpayers.”

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