State House District 51 and 52 candidates appeal to voters – Chicago Tribune

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As voters in southwest and central Lake County decide whether to reelect their current state representatives or give one of their challengers the seat, the citizens will learn the candidates opinions vary on issues like gun violence, inflation, abortion rights, crime and more.

State Rep. Chris Bos, R-Lake Zurich, faces Democrat Nabeela Syed of Inverness, in the 51st state House district; while Democrat Mary Morgan of Island Lake is challenging state Rep. Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, for the 52nd District seat in the Nov. 8 general election.

Syed, 23, a digital strategist, said she believes voters will hearken to her views on gun violence, women’s reproductive health and climate change, prompting them to send her to Springfield.

Bos, 44, who is seeking his second term after first being elected in 2020, said bipartisan legislation he authored to protect juvenile victims of sexual abuse as well as his views on property tax reform will convince voters he deserves another term.

Early this year, Bos introduced legislation to require an individual accused of sexual assault of a minor or intellectually disabled person who believed the victim was 18 or of sound mind to prove their age or capacity rather than requiring the victim to offer proof. It became law in May.

“We reversed the burden of proof,” Bos said. “It unanimously passed the House and Senate. The governor signed it into law.”

Both Syed and Bos want to see a reduction in gun violence, but they have different approaches.

Syed said she will support legislation to ban military assault weapons and wants to find ways to stem the flow of weapons arriving in Illinois from other states with laxer laws.

Nabeela Syed.
- Original Credit: News-Sun

Nabeela Syed.
– Original Credit: News-Sun
(Nabeela Syed / HANDOUT)

“There is no need for anyone to have access to military style weapons,” Syed said. “We have to stop the flow of illegal weapons into Illinois. We also need to keep legal guns safely locked to keep families safe.”

With the Illinois State Police able to investigate anyone seeking to own a legal firearm before they can get a FOID card and purchase the firearm, Bos said there is a system in place to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.

Chris Bos.
- Original Credit: News-Sun

Chris Bos.
– Original Credit: News-Sun
(Chris Bos / HANDOUT)

“With our FOID system there are only legal gun owners,” Bos said. “Those who can’t get FOID cards are illegal gun owners.”

After the U.S. Supreme Court returned regulation of abortion to the states in its Dobbs v. Jackson ruling in June, Bos said he does not see any changes coming to Illinois. He said exceptions to an abortion ban, “are always on the table” but he voted against legislation earlier this year removing parental notification if a minor terminates a pregnancy.

“Removing parental notification of a minor is an extreme view that I don’t approve of,” Bos said.

Syed said women’s health care decisions should be made by each individual woman with no restrictions imposed. She wants Illinois to remain a place where women are free to decide how they want to manage their reproductive health.

“I am grateful to live in a state like Illinois, where health care decisions are made by the patient and are not criminalized,” Syed said.

The 51st District includes all or part of Barrington, Kildeer, Deer Park, Long Grove, Vernon Hills, Lake Zurich, Hawthorn Woods, Inverness, Palatine, Hoffman Estates and Rolling Meadows.

McLaughlin, Morgan offer voters different views

Morgan, 49, works in the curriculum office of Wauconda School District 118 after a 25-year career as a sales director in the corporate world. She is making her first run for elective office, while McLaughlin is seeking his third term in Springfield.

Before his election to the legislature, McLaughlin was the village president of Barrington Hills from 2013 to 2020. He continues to work in the financial field. He said as he talks to voters he hears about inflation, taxes and schools more than anything else.

Martin McLaughlin.
- Original Credit: News-Sun

Martin McLaughlin.
– Original Credit: News-Sun
(Martin McLaughlin / HANDOUT)

McLaughlin said lowering the gas tax or making the reduction approved this summer permanent will help ease prices people pay. Finding ways to consume less energy will also reduce what people pay for fuel. More local control will help, too.

“The price of energy is driving inflation,” McLaughlin said. “Driving down the price of energy makes it more energy efficient, giving people more money for food. We should lower or eliminate the gas tax. More local control will help.”

When she is talking to voters, Morgan said she does not hear people talking about inflation. Though she is not ready to lower taxes or make the gas tax holiday permanent, she would like to see a redistribution of the tax dollars which are received.

“More of the taxes should be coming back to northern Illinois,” Morgan said. “That will help with local needs and there will be less of a need to increase local taxes.”

Mary Morgan.
- Original Credit: News-Sun

Mary Morgan.
– Original Credit: News-Sun
(Mary Morgan / HANDOUT)

Reducing gun violence is an important issue for Morgan. She said she will support an array of legislative measures to keep the community safe, but does not want to take firearms from legal gun owners.

“We should increase the minimum age to have a weapon of war, and have a longer waiting period to buy a gun,” she said. “I would find a way to track every gun so the only one who can use it is the gun owner.”

McLaughlin said he is a supporter of the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which gives people the right to have guns. Military weapons like automatic rifles are already illegal, he said.

“I’m against gun violence,” McLaughlin said. “It is also a mental health issue which has to be integrated into all this. Doing something about that is something I could support. I am also a Second Amendment advocate.”

The 52nd District includes all or parts of Algonquin, Fox River Grove, South Barrington, Barrington, Barrington Hills, North Barrington, Lake Barrington, Tower Lakes, Island Lake, Wauconda, Volo, Libertyville and Mundelein.

Early voting is underway at the Lake County Building in downtown Waukegan and will expand to 17 additional locations around the county Oct. 24, according to the Lake County clerk’s website. People who wish to vote by mail can request a ballot now from the clerk’s office.

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October 13, 2022 at 04:07PM

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