Local Editorials

State Representative, 66th District (Democratic): Suzanne Ness

McHenry County Board member Suzanne Ness (right) talks with Valley Hi Nursing Home Administrator Tom Annarella on Thursday in Woodstock.
McHenry County Board member Suzanne Ness (right) talks with Valley Hi Nursing Home Administrator Tom Annarella on Thursday in Woodstock.

Note to readers: This is an endorsement of a candidate in the Democratic primary, written by the Shaw Media Editorial Board. It is an institutional opinion piece, not a news story.

The Democratic candidates seeking the party’s nomination for state representative in the 66th legislative district have similar messages, but Suzanne Ness is the better messenger.

Ness, of Crystal Lake, is a McHenry County Board member who runs a corporate training company. She says her service on the County Board has shown her that big issues faced at the local level require state solutions. She is concerned about high property taxes and the antiquated system used to assess them, and says the area has not been well-represented by the Republican incumbent.

Ness advocates allowing state retirees to receive no more than one state pension. She would like to change the property tax system to reduce the burden on homeowners, and explore ways to bring federal workforce training funding into the 66th District, which lacks a community college.

She supports Gov. JB Pritzker’s “Fair Tax” plan, but cautions against demonizing “millionaires and billionaires”, as the goal should not be to punish people for success, but to collect more tax from those who will suffer least in paying.

Ness says “sanctuary city” policies are a natural reaction to the Trump administration’s targeting of immigrants, and she supports policies that protect people from such treatment.

Jim Malone, a union sheet metal worker who was appointed to the Carpentersville Village Board last year, shares many of these positions. He differs strongly on the issue of whether he would vote for Michael Madigan to be Speaker of the House. Malone says no; Ness refused to answer.

However, in terms of understanding the issues, government service and knowledge of the district, we give the edge to Ness, who is endorsed.

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