Downstate Senate Race Getting Ugly

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Criminal activity by a lawmaker’s husband and of mismanagement of state grants on her watch are the center of a brutal new television ad in a downstate legislative race.

Appointed Rep. Sandy Hamilton (R-Springfield), launched the ad over the weekend, alleging appointed Sen. Doris Turner (D-Springfield) was involved in separate criminal incidents.

Hamilton and Turner are battling in one of the highest-profile legislative races in the 48th Senate District, stretching from Springfield to Decatur.

In 2005, Cecil Turner, Doris Turner’s husband, was convicted of wire fraud and sentenced to federal prison for his role in a ghost payroll scheme in the Secretary of State’s office. Reporting at the time showed Doris Turner was caught on wiretaps discussed directing her husband’s co-defendants not to talk to authorities. Doris Turner was never charged with a crime.

“The ad tries to attribute the illegal activities of bad actors to Doris Turner in her role as a state employee,” the Turner campaign responded in a statement. “The events in this ad are nearly 20 years old, and Turner was never charged with a crime.”

Hamilton’s campaign manager, Matt Butcher, said in a statement that Turner has been part of a “career of corruption.”

“[Turner] was caught on wiretaps trying to coverup ghost payrolling – costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars – and resigned from her state job in disgrace because the Inspector General said she violated “her duty” by dolling out grants that were meant to help our seniors and most in need,” he said.

The latest attack from Hamilton comes after Turner hit the airwaves attacking Hamilton as a “sell out.”

Governor JB Pritzker won the new 48th district by around 5 points in 2018, but Republican Erika Harold won the Attorney General race in the district by around 6 points. The district is considered one of the most toss-up districts in the state and could wind up the most expensive legislative race in the state before November 8.

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October 11, 2022 at 05:47PM

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