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Rep. Fine to run for Biss seat

Friday, Jul 28, 2017

* Press release

An early favorite has emerged to replace outgoing 9th District State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) as 17th District State Rep. Laura Fine (D-Glenview) announced her candidacy and several early endorsements Friday. Fine, a former teacher and advocate for taking on the insurance industry, followed Biss — currently seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination — into her current seat and hopes to succeed him a second time in the state senate.

After her husband Michael lost his arm at the shoulder when a cement truck plowed into his car head on, Fine’s family faced bankruptcy when their insurance company refused to pay medical bills for multiple surgeries and attempted to drop her husband’s coverage. With close to $600,000 in medical bills, Fine fought tirelessly with both the auto and health insurance companies for the quality care her husband needed to recover.

“I ran for the legislature in 2012 to take on the powerful insurance industry and became an advocate for leveling the playing field for all Illinois families against special interests who put their profits above people,” Fine said. “In the State Senate, I will continue to be a voice for our families when they are treated unfairly, and I will not hesitate to do the hard things to make sure people are treated right.” […]

State Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) said. “Laura Fine is the exact kind of leader our community needs. Someone who works tirelessly on behalf of others and who is not afraid to stand up for what is right. I have had the privilege of working with her both on the local and the state level and I have seen firsthand her commitment to her constituents and I am proud to support her and her candidacy for state Senate.”

Metropolitan Water Commissioner Debra Shore (D-Evanston) added, “I am enthusiastically supporting Laura Fine for IL Senate because I know her to be a woman of experience, integrity, thoughtful approaches to legislation, and deep compassion. Frankly, we need more collaboration and less egos in the General Assembly. Laura is eminently qualified.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - lake county democrat - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:01 pm:

    I’ve never heard of her - not that I’m *that* attuned to state politics but that still surprised me. Checked and noticed she failed Vote Smart’s “political courage” test. Would like to know what Rep. Gabel is referring to as I do appreciate when reps break ranks for what they believe in.

  2. - Arsenal - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:02 pm:

    That’ll be a crowded primary. Too many Evanstonian gadflys.

  3. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:19 pm:

    Running for Biss’ seat? Fine.

  4. - Grand Avenue - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:24 pm:

    Also running are New Trier Township Committeeman Dean Maragos and Evanston Township Committeeman Eamon Kelly

  5. - Evanston's 6th - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:29 pm:

    The perfect person to replace Biss. Knowledgeable, independent and honest. Plus she represents the west side of that district, which is arguably the harder district to run as a Democrat.

    Laura has been one of the few people to actually get things done in Springfield, so even though this will be a loss for the House, it’s another great member to add to the Senate.

  6. - Grand Avenue - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:30 pm:

    I have no idea why someone would give up a safe house seat for a chance at a Senate Seat. It makes no sense at all. The only advantage is that you only have to run 3 times in 10 years instead of 5, but in a safe seat, that’s really a nothingburger.

  7. - Texas Red - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:31 pm:

    With three candidates announced to date; I can’t help but say “Paging Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard”

  8. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:31 pm:

    === why someone would give up a safe house seat for a chance at a Senate Seat===

    No Madigan.

  9. - Grand Avenue - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:35 pm:

    Actually a good point - maybe we should expect a press release from ILGOP saying Rep Fine is another member fleeing Speaker Madigan’s reign of terror.

  10. - Shytown - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:40 pm:

    she’s good people and would rep the district well in the senate.

  11. - Mike K - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:41 pm:

    === why someone would give up a safe house seat for a chance at a Senate Seat===

    Ask Rep. Biss or Rep. Schoenberg or Rep. Ronen…Heck, ask Rep. Art Berman. Seems pretty reasonable that someone like Rep. Fine, who does a very good job is attracted to a bigger “pond” for greater impact.

  12. - LizPhairTax - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:47 pm:

    Rep. Cullerton seems to have flourished as well.

  13. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:54 pm:

    Texas Red: Moe: “Delighted”
    Larry: “Enchanted”
    Curly: “Embalmed”. Nyuk, Nyuk….

  14. - Grand Avenue - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:56 pm:

    I get giving up a safe House seat for a clean shot at a Senate seat, but in this case, there’s no guarantee she’ll win because she’ll be up against other strong candidates.

  15. - Evanston AF - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 4:04 pm:

    This will be fun to watch Fine get attacked in what could be a brutal primary. But this election will be different for her - poppa Madigan won’t be there To hold her hand like he did the several times she ran before.

    Welcome to the big leagues Ms. Fine

  16. - Mike K - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 4:05 pm:

    -she’ll be up against other strong candidates-

    Factoid: Allowing for some latitude regarding map changes, every State Senator of this district was first a State Rep, going back to Sen. Arrington eons ago. And people who underestimate Laura Fine do so at their own peril.

  17. - Just Observing - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    === This will be fun to watch Fine get attacked in what could be a brutal primary…. Welcome to the big leagues Ms. Fine. ===

    I’m not saying she won’t have a tough primary (she may, or may not), but I wouldn’t particularly call Eamon Kelly and Dean Maragos the big leagues. I’m sure she can hold her water just fine (no pun intended with the fine).

  18. - Glenview Brewz - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 4:09 pm:

    She may want to run from Madigan house reign of terror, but won’t be able to outrun all those votes for him as speaker - even in a liberal district.

  19. - Just Observing - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 4:15 pm:

    === She may want to run from Madigan house reign of terror, but won’t be able to outrun all those votes for him as speaker - even in a liberal district. ===

    Name a legislator that has lost their seat due to voting for Madigan for Speaker. And… are Eamon and Dean going to announce that they will not vote for Madigan? They are likely going to say along of the lines “Right now I’m focused on winning this election, when the time comes I will evaluate who the candidates for Speaker are and make a decision” then they will vote for Madigan.

  20. - Glenview Brewz - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 4:18 pm:

    - Just observing -

    Last time I checked, when you run for the senate and get elected you vote for a senate leader. Not the speaker of the house.

  21. - Just Observing - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 4:24 pm:

    === Last time I checked, when you run for the senate and get elected you vote for a senate leader. Not the speaker of the house. ===

    Yes, mental lapse on my part. Still… nobody is losing elections, especially Dem primaries, over their vote for Madigan as Speaker.

  22. - Informed voter - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 4:33 pm:

    Eamon Kelly helped to run a wildly successful education referendum campaign in Evanston that got 80% of the vote in April. He is a proudly progressive Democrat who won’t be afraid to stand up to Rauner and the entrenched special interests. He is the perfect candidate for the district.

  23. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 7:49 pm:

    Dean Maragos is a big Toni Preckwinkle and Jan Shakowsky cheerleader. Not sure why he stays in this race. Kelly will do well in Evanston and Fine has an independent record. He may find that being the Dem committeeman from New Trier carries as much weight as the republican committeeman in Evanston. All he does is split male votes in a primary which will probably have 60% women voters. Look for Jan to talk him out of this one. Maybe he steps down to a state rep race.

  24. - TKMH - Monday, Jul 31, 17 @ 6:33 pm:

    Fine in a rout. Kelly is a very nice guy, but hasn’t really lost the “awkward” factor that plagued his State Rep run against Gabel in 2010. Maragos’ (who I didn’t even know was running until reading the comments) base overlaps heavily with Fine, and even then she draws most of his support.

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