State Senate Candidates

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One of the closest races in the upcoming elections may end up being for the 34th district in Illinois. Dave Syverson is the Republican incumbent. But a majority of the residents living in his district are Democrats. And that's why Syverson's opponent, Dan Lewandowski thinks he has a good chance.

Dave Syverson has been an Illinois state senator for 14 years. He ran unopposed in the last election for the 34th district. But now a Democrat, Dan Lewandowski is up for the challenge.

"People don't get what they need in this area, they don't get the results from their leaders," Lewandowski said.

"We've worked hard to represent the people of our community, whether it was building schools, improving health care or creating jobs," Syverson said.

Lewandowski says $6.50 an hour isn't enough to live off of… we need to raise minimum wage.

"We have enough low paying jobs in this community. The problem is we need to be concentrating on high paying jobs, the kinds of jobs you can raise a family on with integrity," Syverson said.

"I believe you can do both. As a state senator you should try to find higher paying jobs but there are certain people in this community who can't get those higher paying jobs because they don't have the education or the experience," Lewandowski said.

Both candidates say funding education is one of their top priorities.

"Over this period of time we've been able to double the amount of money coming back to area schools, we've helped build six schools in WInnebago County, 3 in Rockford," Syverson said.

"I'm open to the idea of a tax swap where we reduce the property taxes, and then increase the income tax a percentage or two," Lewandowski said.

"We had a bill that would have brought $113 million to the Rockford area for road construction. There are many roads in the area we could have used that money for and certainly when I'm state senator I'm going to fight for that money,’ Lewandowski said.

"The plan as it stands right now is there's no way to fund it, and the second concern is that those roads they talk about aren't done being engineered yet," Syverson said.

This is the first time Syverson will have an opponent since the state drew new district lines. He's now a republican incumbent in a democratic district.

To learn more about where they stand on the issues, click on the "in depth" video link.