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Opinion

Endorsement: Lance Yednock for state representative in the 76th District

Lance Yednock
Lance Yednock

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The 76th District State House, which includes La Salle and Bureau counties, has been a battleground the past couple elections, with the seat – long held by Democrat Frank Mautino – bouncing from Democrat to Republican and back to Democrat.

The three men who've held the post since Mautino resigned in 2015 for the state's auditor general position weren't in for very long. Shaw Media opted not to endorse in this race in 2018, with harassment allegations circling incumbent Republican Jerry Long and the uncertainty of whether Democrat Lance Yednock would continue to support a continuation of policies driving the state closer to financial ruin.

However, in his last two years in office, Yednock has demonstrated he can work across the aisle and a willingness to vote with his district rather than party or personal beliefs. Examples include voting against the Reproductive Health Act, which was labeled as the most liberal reproductive health statute in the nation, and also siding with the district when it came to the proposed FOID overhaul. He believed the bill was too restrictive on law-abiding citizens, such as hunters.

We believe he is the stronger candidate over his opponent, Republican Travis Breeden of Utica.

While Breeden's desire to run is admirable – he sees the state is heading in the wrong direction, people are moving, and he wants to help – his approach is contentious. He is quick to blame Democrats and scold them. In this regard, it will be tough for a Republican to get bills passed that help his constituents if he takes a contentious approach.

During his two years in office, we have seen Yednock advocate for the area, such as working with local high schools to help implement career technical education.

Yednock refers to himself as a moderate voice, because he is. He's not going to offend socially conservative sensibilities. He's in favor of protecting Second Amendment rights and held a town hall in Streator to talk to gun owners, leading discussion in a room full of many people who disagreed with him politically. Yet Yednock sought out where both sides agreed, and explains that he was in favor of advocating for strengthening the rights of legal gun owners in Illinois, and not doing anything that puts extra burden on them.

We also have more faith that he can get an important bill passed for his district based on his level-headed approach of reaching out to Republicans to talk to them about their questions and concerns. This has helped shape his bills in a more bipartisan manner and helps them get passed.

We believe Yednock is the sensible choice, and will represent the district well if he continues to speak with and listen to constituents, and vote with the district rather than party and Speaker Mike Madigan.

Yednock is endorsed.

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