One thing certain about the 24th District in the state Senate is that it will have a new representative elected in 2014.
Incumbent Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, who has been representing the area since 1994, is seeking the Republican nomination for governor.
Two Elmhurst residents, Chris Nybo and Dennis Reboletti, both former aldermen on the Elmhurst City Council, will face-off in the March 18 Republican primary, with the winner facing Suzanne Glowiak, a Western Springs trustee, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Neither Reboletti nor Nybo are new names to local politics. Reboletti serves as a state representative in the 45th District, and Nybo was a state representative for the former 41st District from 2011-2013. He unsuccessfully challenged Dillard in 2012.
Dillard endorsed Reboletti as his successor, but that doesn’t concern Nybo.
“The endorsement I received from Citizens for Clarendon Hills is more important to me than the endorsement of another politician,” Nybo said. “I don’t perceive this as following Kirk Dillard; it’s about representing communities.”
Reboletti believes the loss of Dillard in the state Senate leaves a large leadership void. But he also believes he’s quite capable of filling that void.
“I’ve had some experience filling big shoes; I replaced (former state Rep). Lee Daniels,” Reboletti said, adding he believes his level of experience is the major difference between Nybo and himself.
“I’ve known Chris; he’s a good man, but my experience has allowed me to work on many major issues, and I’ve been able to work across the aisle and establish relationships,” he said.
Nybo, who works as an employment attorney, said his experience in working with businesses has provided him with important experience for working at trying to improve the Illinois economy.
“Businesses have been leaving the state, and people have been leaving the state,” Nybo said. “We need to change both the reality and the perception that Illinois is a bad place to run a business.”
Reboletti agreed the economy is at the forefront of issues facing elected officials in Illinois, saying his focus is on maintaining jobs.
“We need to provide some sort of stability,” Reboletti said. “We have to get rid of a lot of regulations and red tape that will allow businesses to expand.”
Nybo believes he is much more fiscally conservative than Reboletti.
“I’ve always opposed property taxes and any increases in property taxes, and my opponent has never missed an opportunity to raise property taxes,” Nybo said. “I absolutely am more anti-tax than he is.”
Nybo suggested stopping automatic salary increases for public employees as one way to reduce spending to help make up for lower taxes.
“And you can’t have those sweetheart pension deals,” he said.
Both Nybo and Reboletti support the pension reform plan adopted in 2013. Nybo said more should be done about the pension problem and Reboletti said the issue should be revisited.
“I think we need to wait on the lawsuits that have been filed since the pension reform was passed before we take any additional measures,” Reboletti said. “We need to be sure that the Chicago pension system becomes sound because it affects the whole state.”
Nybo suggested an alternative to traditional pension plans.
“I would like to go to more of a 401K type of a defined contribution plan, instead of a defined benefit plan,” he said. “I’ve talked to some young teachers, and they are in favor of the 401K-type plan because they have no trust now in the pension plans.”
Both men believe those who already have contributed for many years to pensions should not be slighted out of promised benefits. And both said they support the Fair Map Amendment proposal that would stop politically-motivated redistricting in Illinois.
“I very much support fair maps; the whole system now is a sham system,” Nybo said.
Reboletti said he supports the Fair Map Amendment proposal because it would keep communities of interest together.
“It’s not right if either side does it,” Reboletti said. “You have to have a fair vote. “Everyone’s vote should mean something.”