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Local Election

Endorsement: U.S. Senate: Dick Durbin

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., pays respects as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in repose under the Portico at the top of the front steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington. Ginsburg, 87, died of cancer on Sept. 18. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., pays respects as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in repose under the Portico at the top of the front steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Washington. Ginsburg, 87, died of cancer on Sept. 18. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Stay informed with Shaw Local's Election Central. Research your ballot, where the candidates stand on the issues and set yourself up with a reminder to vote.

The U.S. Senate is a bottleneck for legislation passed in the U.S. House by the 116th Congress.

This legislation includes a bipartisan infrastructure bill, relief bills for COVID-19, a bill to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and the Family Leave and Medical Care Act. This legislation is not like the Justice in Policing Act, considered to be the far left’s plan to “defund the police.”

But the point is, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not letting anything get a vote that could at all be considered a win for the Democrats.

McConnell and President Donald Trump have been able to wield power over Congress, causing a stalemate. To control the action, Trump sometimes has resorted to ruling by executive order.

The Senate, and the country as a whole, needs a level playing field. On Saturday, the Shaw Media Editorial Board endorsed Joe Biden for president. If Biden is to lead the country as a uniter, not a divider, he will need help from a balanced Senate. For that, we endorse Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat.

Durbin, of Springfield, serves as the Democratic whip, the second-ranking Democratic member in the Senate. He serves on the Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, Agriculture and Rules committees.

Despite not being able to vote on bills passed along by Congress, Durbin still holds power in the Senate. He has been in the Senate for 24 years, which, given the state of Congress today, isn’t considered a positive.

But his influence is a benefit for Illinois. He has been a leader in the defense of the Affordable Care Act, including preserving protections for people with preexisting conditions. He has fought for common-sense gun reform, including requiring background checks for gun sales and banning assault weapons.

Durbin also introduced the Dream Act in the Senate in 2001 and continues to advocate to ensure Dreamers can remain in the U.S. and continue to contribute to our communities.

The Republican candidate is Mark Curran of Libertyville, former Lake County sheriff (2006-2018) and a lawyer. He supports building the wall along the Mexico border and merit-based immigration reform and opposes sanctuary cities. Curran believes the U.S.’s $26 trillion debt is a national security issue. He is pro-life and supports the right to keep and bear arms. “The Second Amendment right must be protected as it protects all of our other rights,” he said.

Curran and Durbin are partisans. In this case, a vote for Curran would continue and grow the divide in the U.S. Senate.

As Joe Biden preaches, partisanship will not take the country to where it needs to head. Durbin is an effective senator, and we hope that with a more balanced Senate, he can use his experience wisely and act in the best interest of the country as a whole.

We endorse Sen. Dick Durbin for U.S. Senate.

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