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Incumbent Cole faces challenger Yingling in 62nd District race

Illinos State Representative district 52  Sandy Cole Grayslake. | Special Sun-Times Media

Illinos State Representative district 52 Sandy Cole of Grayslake. | Special to Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 31, 2012 5:43PM

Republican Sandy Cole, 62nd House District incumbent, is being challenged by Democrat Sam Yingling, Avon Township supervisor.

District 62 includes Grayslake, all Round Lake communities including Hainesville, Wauconda, most of Third Lake and a lot of unincorporated Lake County, including Wildwood, Ingleside, parts of Fremont Township, Avon, Grant, Wauconda, Lake Villa and Warren townships.

Yingling has been in office since 2009, winning his first term on a platform of lowering property taxes. A Grayslake resident, he is a third generation Lake County resident. His family has operated several small businesses, including a restaurant in the Round Lake area. He was in real estate with his dad, and while he is a Realtor, he is devoting the majority of time to the township supervisor job, he said.

“I had never intended to run for supervisor, but I saw our representatives giving themselves pay raises and raising property taxes to fund them. I vowed to lower property taxes. During my term as supervisor, I realized that many reforms have to come at the state level, so I decided to seek office at the state level,” he said.

Yingling said the number one issue is “outrageous” property taxes. “Illinois is ranked as one of highest taxed states in the nation. We need comprehensive property tax reforms to change that. This level of taxation is unsustainable.”

Jobs is also tops on his list. “We need to start putting residents back to work. We need to invest in education for retraining and at the same time try to bring more high tech and green industries into our state. We need to provide resources and funding to our schools so our unemployed can receive training at places like CLC and get back to work. Many people don’t realize that investing in education is a form of economic stimulus.”

State spending is also a major issue. “We have to manage a household budget and live within our means and it is unacceptable that Springfield is not held to that standard. Good initial steps are being made through budgeting for results, by going through the budget by line item. We need to build on these advances.”

Yingling said spending in Avon Township has been cut by about 20 percent. “We have eliminated all redundant services and instead we partner with other municipalities to provide needed services. We have to look at doing this with all layers of government. A change that could be done in Springfield is reforming the township code. Let each township decide its own structure.”

State Rep. Sandy Cole of Grayslake is a former member of the Lake County Board for 10 years, and this is her sixth year as state representative for the 62nd District. While on the county board, she was vice chairman of the finance committee and chairman of the forest preserve district. She is minority spokesperson on the appropriation general services committee. She reviews budgets and recommend cuts from the “vast bureaucracy” of state government.

“I very much like numbers and budget aspects and apply my experience with the county board to my current job at the state level. It has been a great challenge and a lot of fun.”

She sits on the appropriations committees for elementary and secondary education and for business and occupational licenses. She is also on the tourism and conventions committee and is on special assignment on the pension and investment committee.

She said her biggest challenge is to help improve the business climate in the state. “That would help with the state debt. Businesses leave, we lose revenue and we lose residents. If we boost business and tax-paying residents, we boost our revenue and our economy.”

She is especially concerned that Illinois is losing businesses to other states. “Even with incentive packages companies are moving to other states that have a handle on their debt. We need to start working on encouraging businesses to move here and stay here. We can start with young people getting out of college and offer grants, start-up costs for their business ideas and help them obtain loans.”

She introduced a house bill to create Illinois Economic Development Corp. that includes a small business development center to provide expertise to attract small businesses and help them with costs. She is looking to large businesses to help fund this program. “Large business owners would be members of this unpaid commission, and those I have talked to are excited to do this because 80 percent of the economy relies on small businesses and this helps their own economic health.”

Another way to help improve the state economy is to eliminate Medicaid fraud by cracking down on out of state residents using Illinois medical services. “Pharmacists are running into the same problem with out-of-state residents using our services because we don’t check residency and we don’t properly check the eligibility of residents who have been on Medicaid for years. We have 25-year-olds with full-time jobs still cashing in on Medicare.”

“There are so many frustrating little issues like that in state government. We only have limited amount of dollars to spend so we have to eliminate people who do not qualify for our services.”

Cole said her district office at Route 45 and Washington Street in Grayslake has developed a reputation for excellent constituent services and helping local residents navigate state bureaucracy. “We make the calls to Springfield and other government entities to help our local residents with their problems.”

When she is back in the district, Cole especially likes to talk about civics with high-school students and literacy program participants at local libraries and read to grade-school kids. “I try to be accessible to my constituents and participate in a lot of school programs because I believe education is a key to success.”

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