Doris Turner, Sandy Hamilton seek election to 48th Senate District – The State Journal-Register

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Editor’s note: This is part of a series of candidate profiles ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.

With less than 30 days to go until election day, State Sen. Doris Turner and state Rep. Sandy Hamilton have turned up the campaign volume in their bid to win the 48th Senate District seat.

Turner, a Democrat, and Hamilton, a Republican, both ran unopposed in the June primary to face off on Nov. 8.

The 48th Senate District, which Turner currently represents, covers parts of Macon, Sangamon and Christian counties and includes downtown Springfield and Decatur.

Hamilton currently serves the 99th House district, which includes most of Springfield, Auburn, Chatham, Leland Grove, New Berlin and Thayer.

The redrawn legislative maps put Hamilton’s residence into fellow Republican Rep. Tim Butler’s 95th House district. She ran for the Senate seat rather than challenge Butler. Turner and Hamilton were appointed to their current legislative seats so they are both seeking election to the General Assembly for the first time.

As Hamilton and Turner seek voter support, attacks between the two campaigns have intensified. Hamilton has been accused of being a corporate tool and an anti-union radical in Turner’s campaign advertisements, while ads from Hamilton’s campaign accuse Turner of incompetence and corruption.

About the candidates

Sen. Doris Turner, D-Springfield

Turner earned $69,464 as a state legislator last year, according to financial disclosure records, which puts her in the fifth-highest percent of the nation’s earners. Turner also has investment assets totaling $354,000. She served on the Sangamon County Board for 10 years and represented Ward 3 on the Springfield City Council for 9 ½ years. She was appointed to the 48th district state senate seat in February 2021 after former state Sen. Andy Manar resigned to become a senior adviser to Gov. JB Pritzker. Turner also is a member of the Sangamon County Board of Health and the Springfield High Speed Railroad Community Advisory Commission. She is from Springfield, has been married for 45 years, and has three children.  

State Rep. Sandy Hamilton

Hamilton earned $71,681 as a Realtor last year, according to financial disclosure records, which puts her in the 25th percentile of the nation’s earners. Hamilton also has investment assets totaling $49,934. The married mother of three grew up in the Chicago suburbs and has been in the real estate business for 29 years. She is a graduate and former student-athlete of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Hamilton has represented the 99th House District since December 2021, appointed to replace former Rep. Mike Murphy who stepped down to lead the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce. She has lived in Springfield for more than 20 years.

Turner’s top three issues

Economic development: Utilizing union labor to develop the economy in the 48th District is Turner’s top priority.

“I want to see the next stage of development for the 48th where we work on things like an I-72 business corridor, more affordable housing, and better access to vital needs like groceries, healthcare, and public transportation,” she said. “I will always support our working families that have come together to collectively bargain. Union membership does more than provide a good paying job with benefits, it provides a career that can be generationally transformative for families.”

Education: Before Turner was an elected official, she began community activism work with Springfield District 186. She said her passion and advocacy for education continue today.

“This is evidenced through legislation I have passed and supported in the Senate including ensuring we addressed the teacher shortage exacerbated by the pandemic. Additionally, in order to assist school districts reach their full potential, it is imperative that we continue to ensure that we invest in the evidence-based funding formula so it reaches adequacy.”

Healthcare: Turner said making healthcare affordable will always be her priority. She credited her 22 years of work with the Illinois Department of Public Health ensuring access to vulnerable populations as proof of her continued efforts.

“As prescription drug prices continue to skyrocket, I will work diligently to protect Illinoisans from these life-altering costs,” she said. “By having access to affordable healthcare people can live their lives with relative ease knowing that some unforeseen event cannot wreak havoc on their ability to survive. I believe access to affordable healthcare is a right and not a privilege.”

Hamilton’s top three issues

Economic climate: “As a local Realtor, I have seen first-hand the number of families leaving Illinois for economic opportunities in other states. We have got to improve the economic climate for job creators in Illinois,” Hamilton said via email response. “Doing this will enable Illinois to grow our tax base – not tax rates,” she said.

Crime: “We have got to provide more resources and training for our local police,” Hamilton said. “We must repeal the SAFE-T Act. That is why local Sheriffs have endorsed my campaign.”

Ethic laws: “We must pass tougher ethics laws for politicians. I am not a career politician. What has been going on at the Capitol over the past few decades is embarrassing for every Illinoisan. Politicians who are actively involved in corruption need to be removed from office.”

What are the campaigns’ funding sources?

According to the most recent campaign finance reports, Turner received $134,793 in funds including a major donation of $52,400 from The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Illinois PAC labor union. The Illinois Laborers’ Legislative Committee also contributed $33,900 and the remainder were small individual donations of $1,000 or less. 

Hamilton finished the prior quarter with $58,327 in available funds including several major donations from the Senate Republican Victory Fund totaling $13,343, according to the campaign finance reports. Levi, Ray and Shoup Inc. contributed $2,500 and the remainder were small individual donations of $1,000 or less. 

Who’s endorsing Turner?

Turner has the backing of seven labor unions, including teachers, firefighters, and engineers. Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, ABATE, Illinois Retired Teachers Political Action Committee, Illinois Farm Bureau, Equality IL, Planned Parenthood, and Sangamon County Democrats have also endorsed her campaign.

“I have received broad community support from local elected officials, neighborhood organizations, and other grassroots organizations. I believe this support speaks to the responsive work I continue to provide in my official capacity,” Turner said.

Who’s endorsing Hamilton?

Hamilton is endorsed by Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell, Christian County Sheriff Bruce Kettelkamp and Macon County Sheriff Jim Root. She is also endorsed by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and Illinois Realtors.

Other races

There are no contested races in the 44th or 54th districts of the Illinois Senate.

Sen. Sally Turner, R-Beason, is running for reelection in the 44th District, which includes Clinton, Lincoln, Mount Pulaski and Monticello.

Republican Sen. Steve McClure is running for election in the 54th District, which includes Carlinville, Effingham, Shelbyville and Petersburg.

The sun rises over the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Wednesday, October 20, 2021. The state is the top employer in Sangamon County. [Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register]

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October 11, 2022 at 05:51AM

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