17th, 18th District state House candidates debate state taxes and redistricting

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Candidates in the 17th and 18th state House districts debated issues of school funding, government efficiency and redistricting during an Oct. 20 forum in Wilmette.

The two districts were among several races featured at the event, which was organized by several north suburban chapters of the League Of Women Voters and conducted at Wilmette Village Hall.

In the 18th District, incumbent Democrat Rep. Robyn Gabel of Evanston is running against Republican Julie Cho of Wilmette, the owner of a health care consulting business. The 18th House District includes all or portions of Evanston, Wilmette, Kenilworth, Northbrook, Northfield, Winnetka and Glencoe.

State Rep. Laura Fine of Glenview is vacating the 17th House District in her attempt to replace Daniel Biss in the state Senate.

Lee said he supports redistricting efforts and he believes voter influence is unfairly “carved up.” However, Lee said House Speaker Michael Madigan will always prevent redistricting that is truly fair.

On the topic of public education, Gong-Gershowitz said she does not support diverting public money to charter schools. Lee said education is each community’s “common denominator,” but he thinks charter schools are a Chicago issue and not a topic relevant to the suburban district.

When asked about medical issues, Lee said he doesn’t like seeing family’s get financially ruined because of medical situations. He said he supports lowering costs by fostering a more competitive market.

Gong-Gershowitz said health care is a right and not a privilege, and she doesn’t think the free market has done a good job at keeping prices as low as they could be. She said she supports legislation to reduce prescription drug costs and to make mental health coverage more accessible.

rkambic@pioneerlocal.com

Twitter @Rick_Kambic

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Region: AH,Local,Suburbs

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October 23, 2018 at 11:15AM

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