The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board begins endorsements for the Illinois General Assembly. While the choice of a U.S. president attracts more attention, lawmakers in Springfield arguably influence the lives of Illinois citizens as much as the next White House occupant will. Voters, please pay attention to these down-ballot races.

52nd District: First, a clarification: The Republican running in this district named Michael Madigan is not the Michael Madigan, the speaker. The Urbana restaurateur is campaigning as “the other Mike Madigan.” He worked for more than a decade in state government before opening several barbecue restaurants. He faces freshman Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, who was appointed in 2015 to complete the term of state Treasurer Mike Frerichs. So far, Bennett has proven to be an independent-minded legislator. A former assistant state’s attorney, he got a bill signed into law that further protects the rights of sexual assault victims, including during evidence-gathering. We wish Madigan were running for a different seat. His experience in government and business would be a welcome perspective in Springfield. But Bennett has earned another term.

Click here to read the entire list of endorsements.