23 Aug 2014
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Western Springs: Know Your District and Know Your Candidates

Western Springs Patch breaks down the various districts into which the Village is divided for Congress, state House and state Senate elections, and lets you know who has filed.

Western Springs: Know Your District and Know Your Candidates

Redistricting in the Chicagoland suburbs is infamous for its whopping examples of bizarre gerrymandering (the bizarre 4th congressional district, for instance, is shaped rather like a pair of earmuffs.) The political machinations that twist and contort districts into senseless shapes have not left Western Springs alone, and recent redistricting may have changed who shows up on your ballot this March and November.

Western Springs is split between two U.S. Congressional districts, three state Senate districts and a whopping four House districts (quite a feat for a 2.8-square-mile Village!) Some of these districts only encompass a few blocks of the Village, but nonetheless, they can and will appear on Villagers' ballots.

Our guide below can fill you in on who you'll be voting for (and/or against) in March and November, depending on where in town you live. We've also provided a little background information on each candidate based on what we could find online. The guide is by no means comprehensive and candidates will surely be making their own cases for themselves in the next two months leading up to primary elections. However, it does include every candidate who has filed for electable status.

Please read, research and use your right to vote!



(Note: these district boundaries apply only to the Village of Western Springs.)


Anywhere north of 39th Street parallel: District #5

Anywhere south of 39th Street parallel: District #3


Anywhere north of the 39th Street parallel, plus anywhere both north of 41st Street and east of Harvey Avenue: District #4

Anywhere both north of Hillgrove Avenue and south of the 39th parallel, except for homes both north of 41st Street and east of Harvey Avenue: District #24

Anywhere south of Hillgrove Avenue: District #41



Anywhere north of the 39th Street parallel: District #7

Anywhere east of Harvey Avenue, south of 39th Street and north of 41st Street: District #8

Anywhere both north of Hillgrove Avenue and south of the 39th parallel, except for homes both north of 41st Street and east of Harvey Avenue: District #47

Anywhere south of Hillgrove Avenue: District #82





Daniel William Lipinski (D, Western Springs): (Incumbent.) Local resident. A member of the House since 2004. Notable as a “Blue Dog” moderate/conservative Democrat. Like former representative father, a strong advocate for transportation improvement. Outspokenly pro-life and has opposed the national health care bill as well as the Wall Street bailout; moderate positions have earned mixed scores from many political advocacy groups. Website: “Since I was first elected in 2004, I have worked hard to bring people together to solve problems and deliver results for our communities and for our nation. But we all know there is still much more work ahead of us.”

Farrah Baqai (D, Chicago): A former police officer and immigrant who became a citizen in 1998. Supports universal national health care, national immigration-reform policies, women’s rights (including pro-choice), and increased funding for both schools and veterans. A firm backer of President Barack Obama. Website: “She is part of the core of America that is frustrated with the economy, unemployment, rising foreclosures, and the corruption currently plaguing Congress… She hails from a family of hard work and perseverance and instills these values in her two children.”

Arthur J. Jones (R, Lyons): A Vietnam veteran and insurance broker running as “the best chance for protecting America.” Supports ending all foreign military conflicts, eliminating free-trade treaties, making elections publically financed and repealing the federal income tax in favor of a national sales tax. Calls Israel “racist, criminal [and] Zionist” and wants to cut US funding to Israel. Pro-life; calls homosexuality “abnormal sexual desire.” Believes illegal immigrants are attempting to create a Communist state called “Atzlan” in the southwest. Website: “I believe my experience in business, my survival in war and my courage in politics has made me into the kind of leader that can make a real impact on the criminal and wasteful ways of Washington.”

Richard L. Grabowski (R, Hometown): A self-described conservative Republican both fiscally and socially. Campaigning as a political outsider strongly opposed to the financial workings of the Democratic-dominated Illinois government over the past decade. Supports promoting and preserving a “traditional American way of life,” decreasing the size of government and strengthening illegal immigration laws. Is also pro-life and opposes gun control. Favors cutting taxes to attract businesses to Illinois. Website: “As our Congressman, Rich will be an outstanding advocate for the voice of the ordinary citizen, taxpayer and business of our district… He is committed to helping bring to our country and state the real reforms and honest government they deserve. Rich will not sell out ‘we the people,’ the taxpayers!”

Jim Falvey (R, Western Springs): An attorney and entrepreneur who has lived in Western Springs for the past 20 years. Worked for U.S. Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) in Washington, D.C. from 1987-1990 as a Legislative Assistant. Calls his main priority the economy with a focus on job creation, lowering (and eventually eliminating) the deficit/debt and simplifying the tax code. Fiscally conservative and believes in free markets. Credits his interest in politics to visiting D.C. as a child. From self: “I had the opportunity to meet my congressman and to see President Ford deliver a Lincoln Day speech.  I knew after that trip that I wanted to be involved in public service.”



Mike Quigley (D, Chicago): (Incumbent.) The incumbent currently holding Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel’s current seat, having won a special election in 2009 and re-won election in 2010. Noted for strong environmental stances, support of government health-care legislation, fierce defense of LGBT rights, advocacy for gun control and criminal justice reform, and pro-union stances. Also touts anti-corruption credentials and serves as co-chair of the House Transparency Caucus. Website: “In 2009, the Chicago Sun-Times described Mike Quigley as “that rare candidate who promises reform—and delivers.” He was elected to Congress… and has spent every day since aggressively delivering on his promise to reform the way business is done in Washington.”

Dan Schmitt (R, Chicago): Calls Quigley “out of touch with the voters of the new 5th District.” Supports ending the federal health-care bill, reducing government spending by 10 percent and reducing gas prices by ending corruption in the oil industry..Calls climate change a “big lie.” Says President Obama has taken the country in the wrong direction. Website: “I want to go to Washington to restore honor, balance the budget and free-up the American Spirit. We are a great people, we love and respect our neighbors, we have fed the world many times over and we will continue to set the standard for a good and prosperous life.”


Kimberly A. Lightford (D, Maywood): (Incumbent.) Running unopposed. Has served since first being elected in 1998. Touts education-reform credentials, including increasing the cap on the number of charter school and passing legislation to allow high-school dropouts to re-enlist. Supports full equality for LGBT persons, including marriage, is pro-choice, and supports a “modest increase” in taxation to cover Illinois’ financial crisis. Opposes “environmentally destructive” lakefront development. Website: “Since the beginning of her political career, State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford has been a vocal champion of her strongest passion: promoting quality educational and development programs for Illinois’ youth… In addition to her progressive legislative agenda, Senator Lightford has been a positive force for change in her district.”



Kirk W. Dillard (R, Hinsdale): (Incumbent.) First elected to the Senate in 1993. Well-known for his candidacy for governor in 2010 that fell just short in the Republican primary. Touts a tough-on-crime approach by emphasizing his sponsorship of a truth-in-sentencing law and authorship of a law outlawing designer and date rape drugs. Also sponsored laws reestablishing the Pledge of Allegiance in schools. Favors a GOP plan to counter deficit (blamed on Governor Quinn) by cutting both taxes and spending and to stop borrowing to cover debt. Website: “Illinois is currently facing monumental obstacles, particularly as pertains to the state budget. As always, I will be an advocate for integrity and fiscal responsibility in Illinois government.”

Chris Nybo (R, Elmhurst): A lifelong resident and lawyer challenging the incumbent Dillard for the Republican nomination. Currently representing the 41st District in his first term, but due to redistricting will now seek the 24th District nomination. Touts efforts to pass financial and ethics reform; supports term limits for elected officials. Sponsored “pay-as-you-go” law requiring all new spending to be matched by cuts. Broke from party to support worker’s comp reform. Website: “Our State needs new energy, new focus and new ideas from our leaders in Springfield. Chris Nybo has proven to be an independent Republican who puts our interests first!”

A. Ghani (D, Oak Brook): Democrat from Oak Brook, unopposed in bid for Democratic nomination. Previously ran for Senate District 21 in 2008, where he took mixed, left-leaning stances: opposed defining sexual orientation as a qualification for a hate crime, but opposed a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and supporting barring employment on the basis of orientation. Also supported reducing taxes through a per-child credit and removing federal jurisdiction over cases involving the Pledge of Allegiance. Was defeated in 2008 by Dan Cronin, who took over twice as many votes. Website (from 2008): “We need to believe in the hope for a better future. Everyone has a story as to why we love and live in the United States of America… We enjoy the benefits of choice and we need to exercise [sic] the right to be heard, the right to live and speak freely, and the right to VOTE!”



Christine Radogno (R, Lemont): (Incumbent.) Running unopposed since Republican challenger Duane Bradley was disqualified by the Illinois State Board of Elections. Former Trustee for the Village of La Grange. First elected to state senate in 1997. Serves as Senate Republican Leader. Known as a moderate conservative by national terms. Advocates GOP caucus’ “reality-based budgeting” to attract businesses and jobs to Illinois. Website: “As Senate Republicans, our goal is to encourage job growth by developing an efficient, transparent, ethical state government with less regulation and lower taxes. We must leave a legacy of responsible government that will last for generations.”


Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D, Hillside): President of Proviso D209 Board of Education. Supports universal healthcare for children, programs to prevent foreclosures and prevent subprime lending, incentivizing businesses to hire those out of work for six months, extending unemployment compensation, increasing income tax and lowering property tax to pay for schools, funding Head Start education programs and strengthening the Consumer Fraud Act. Opposes concealed-carry and advocates gun control. Website: “I have already made a difference in our community in many positive ways. However, there’s much more work to be done. With your support, I will be able to become the progressive, experienced voice in Springfield for residents of the 7th District.”

Princess C. Dempsey (D, Broadview): Self-declared independent, although official Illinois filing records show that she has filed as a Democrat. Supports the institution of social programs to teach trade skills to adults, along with tougher sex-offender laws and a crackdown on drug and gang activity. Has promised to lower taxes of businesses and to cut from the budget; touts her experience as a mortgage processor as relevant experience in knowing how to create jobs. Website: “I will work with new community businesses to encourage job creation, as well as fight for more funding for job training and trade programs that will better assist individuals during the transitioning workforce.”

Beyonca Johnson (D, Maywood): (Objections pending.) A political outsider with little information currently available. Touts her personal connection to and understanding of the 7th District; promises to make personal appearances at events. Website: The duties of a representative are clear: Listen to concerns of constituents, reduce challenges through legislative action, and find resources to support district success. Together with other state representatives, your representative works to find practical solutions that will support your district and complement the other districts.”

Rory Hoskins (D, Forest Park): A member of the Forest Park Village Council and the immediate past president of the Proviso Township Democratic Organization. Supports expanding multi-lingual social services to combat societal ills; touts experience as a volunteer with the Illinois Department of Human Services. Promises to advocate for funding to modernize schools; supports teachers’ rights, including unionization. Intends to expand and reform Illinois’ incentive system to attract businesses, industry and jobs; says 11 years of experience as a tax consultant gives him experience working with economic development. Website: “As commissioner, Hoskins has worked to keep businesses thriving in Forest Park, negotiated numerous union contracts, and has led efforts to recruit bi-lingual staff to work in key employment units.”

Sherby J. Miller (D, Westchester): A political newcomer. Currently the Proviso Mental Health Commissioner and a Navy veteran. Has cited her priorities as being making health care affordable to all, as well as providing adequate care for veterans. Supports using local universities to provide trade training to adults. Supports restructuring the state’s debt. Website: (no statements)

(Note: District #7 incumbent Karen A. Yarbrough is not running for reelection.)


La Shawn K. Ford (D, Chicago): (Incumbent.) Running unopposed. A strong advocate for “social justice.” Pro-labor and environmentalist, with a strong focus on the creation of affordable housing for the lower class. Notable for recently leaning towards considering concealed-carry as well as promoting marijuana law reform. Website: “Increasing social justice and addressing disparities are the common themes in his work, in areas such as jobs, education, health, small business development and housing. Ford takes seriously his vow to… ‘eliminate poverty and inequality; assure legal, social and economic justice; [and] provide opportunity for the fullest development of the individual.’”



Patricia R. “Patti” Bellock (R, Hinsdale): (Incumbent.) Running unopposed. Entered legislature in 1999. Currently in sixth term, serving on several committees. Advocates a “tough on crime” approach, tax cuts for businesses, reducing government spending and advocating the rights of the physically and mentally disabled. Website: “Dedicated to providing outstanding leadership in State government and ensuring that government is fiscally responsible while meeting the needs of the people it serves.”



Jim Durkin (R, Western Springs): (Incumbent.) Local resident and Assistant House Republican Leader. Served from 1995 to 2002, and since 2006. Well-known for leading the GOP in the Blagojevich impeachment committee. Ran for U.S. Senate in 2002 but was defeated by Dick Durbin. A socially-moderate Republican who has bucked his party to oppose easing some restrictions on gun-ownership and to support some environmentalist causes. Has voted against legalizing medical marijuana and authorizing civil unions. Along with most of party, stresses need for wide-scale financial reform to cut both spending and taxation to make up for Illinois deficit and reduce unemployment. Website: “For years, the House Republicans have stated how we need strong, meaningful financial reforms in the budget, including the costly Medicaid and pension components… The Democratic leadership has continued to sweep our proposals under the rug and further run this great state into the ground.”

Laura Reigle (R, Lemont): Challenger from Lemont in GOP primary. Unequivocally pro-life; supports concealed-carry, education vouchers, voter identification and term limits. Declares that the Illinois and Lemont education system needs a complete overhaul. Contrasts self with Durkin as being against some forms of gambling, for full disclosure of public education spending, and against House Bill 255, which increased some sales taxes and driver’s license fees. Supports tax and spending cuts. Website: “For years Laura has been an ever-present taxpayer watchdog for parents and students regarding the mismanagement of Public Education funds... Laura makes change happen.”

Note: All information was compiled from candidates’ websites and news articles from multiple sources, as well as from their voting histories and advocacy group ratings.

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