For the Illinois House
59th District: Republican Rep. Sidney Mathias, of Buffalo Grove, faces Democratic Rep. Carol Sente, of Vernon Hills, thanks to redistricting. Sente owned a small business before she joined the Legislature in 2009. She hit the ground running, introducing several bills that forced more belt-tightening, transparency and accountability in state spending. She got some push back, but for the past two years, the state has made its pension payment in full and passed bipartisan budgets, thanks in part to her persistence. Mathias, elected in 1998, is a moderate, thoughtful legislator who has worked with Metra for years to bring weekend service to his district. Both lawmakers say they will support pension reform when a bill comes to the floor. But Mathias has gotten a lot of campaign cash from labor groups, suggesting they think he'll resist pension changes that affect them. Sente, who is more dogged about reining in state spending, is endorsed.