A total of 114 of the 177 members of the state Senate and Illinois House of Representatives, including the bulk of area state legislators, are running unopposed in the Nov. 6 election.
Locally, only state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, has any competition. Hutchinson is the one-time chief of staff to Debbie Halvorson and took over Halvorson's seat in the Legislature in January 2009 when Halvorson went on to serve one term in Congress. Hutchinson is being challenged by Joseph C. “Tuck” Marshall, of southwest suburban Frankfort.
Marshall is a self-employed real estate broker, but he also teaches courses in proper firearms use to the public. His campaign literature says he would make a priority of bringing the concept of “concealed carry” to Illinois if he were elected to the state Senate.
“It is important,” Marshall said. “There is too darn much killing taking place in Chicago.”
But the 66-year-old Marshall, who has never held elective office, said he is not a one-issue candidate. “I disagree with everything (Hutchinson) has done in the Legislature,” he said. “She supported a 67 percent tax hike in this economy, that’s irresponsible.”
Marshall referred to the 2011 increase in the state income tax from 3 percent to 5 percent that was approved by the Democrat-controlled Legislature and Gov. Pat Quinn to reduce a state budget deficit.
But Hutchinson said she thinks she and other legislators have taken actions such as spending caps that are meant to control the amount of spending that state government does, even though she admits, “there is so much more to do to improve our fiscal situation, and we have to take action now.”
Hutchinson described this campaign cycle as a “balancing act.” As she put it, “I’m the incumbent senator, but I’m also a wife and a mother of three kids under 16. I get up and do the best I can.”
Other area legislators have the luxury of not having to go through a competitive general election.
Candidates such as state Senate hopeful Napoleon Harris III, of Flossmoor, and state Rep. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago, had competitive campaigns in the March primary elections, while state Rep. Marcus Evans Jr., D-Chicago, was appointed to the seat abandoned by Marlow Colwin, who resigned his post after the primary to take a job with Commonwealth Edison.
Others such as state Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, and state Reps. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City; Will Davis, D-Homewood; Al Riley, D-Olympia Fields; and Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, ran unopposed in the primary and will in the general election.
There also will be referendums on some area ballots come Election Day.
In Calumet City, Chicago Heights, Dolton, Lynwood and Thornton Township, voters will be asked if their local governments should pursue the concept of electricity aggregation. That is when a single entity negotiates rates for all local residents with the expectation of achieving a lower, bulk rate and lower utility bills for consumers.
Voters in Brookwood School District 167 will have a bond issue on their ballots, as the district wants to raise $15.8 million to pay for the construction of a new building to replace a century-old middle school.
And in Flossmoor, village officials want voter approval for a bond issue to raise $7.28 million to pay for water main replacement.