This endorsement is a consensus opinion of the Daily Herald Editorial Board.

Two years ago, state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit did something almost unthinkable at the time for an Illinois Democrat: She announced she would challenge Mike Madigan for speaker of the House.

Madigan, facing a ComEd bribery scandal, ultimately stepped aside and was replaced by Emanuel “Chris” Welch. But moving early to take on Madigan — the longest-serving state legislative speaker in U.S. history — was a bold, brave and risky move for Kifowit. Lawmakers who crossed the powerful speaker faced possible retaliation in the form of lost committee assignments, buried legislation and even a Madigan-backed opponent come primary election time. Kifowit, who spent four years in the Marine Corps, displayed both independence and political courage at an important juncture in Illinois’ battle for government ethics.

This year, she faces an election challenge from Joe West, a fellow former Marine and the Oswego Township supervisor. West, on his website, calls himself pro-business and in favor of giving parents “control” over their children’s education. He did not attend our endorsement interview — nor did he return a candidate questionnaire — so we have more questions than answers regarding his positions and his transparency.

Voters of the 84th District, which takes in parts of Aurora, Montgomery, Naperville and Oswego, should return Kifowit to Springfield. She has our endorsement.

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October 14, 2022 at 08:17PM