ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The war of words is heating up between candidates running for Illinois’ 68th District. This following an announcement that Republican John Cabello will temporarily be taking over the sea, which has been held by Dave Winters since 1994.
“This is what leads people to be less likely to go out and vote if they think this is all pre-determined," says Carl Wasco of Cabello’s appointment to the 68th District seat.
“If it was back room politics, I'd be putting my name on the letterhead and changing signs,” Cabello fires back.
With less than three months until Election Day, the debate between these two candidates is heating up. Some voters are concerned that the district's former state representative, Dave Winters, retired early to give fellow Republican, John Cabello a boost in November. Winters says his decision had nothing to do with the election.
“My resignation had nothing to do with political consideration, it was because i was so concerned about the pension crisis facing our state; it was a symbolic gesture," Winters says.
Democratic candidate Carl Wasco says, he finds that hard to believe considering pension reform is expected to come up this week in Springfield. Wasco says the session would have given Winters the opportunity to address the issue.
“He had a chance to stay and fulfill his term and he chose to step down," Wasco adds.
“This affects my campaign, it actually helps out my opponent because it takes me away from the door to door," Cabello says, noting he’s splitting time between campaigning and making sure constituents in the 68th District are still served. Cabello says, even though he holds the seat now, the signage and letterhead for the 68th District office won't change until a winner is declared in November.
Despite the debate, both Wasco and Cabello say the most important part of the race is proving who's the best candidate for the job.
“We have not earned this, we'll earn it in November and we've got a lot of hard work between now and then," says Cabello.
"I was out walking and talking to voters today and I can’t wait to see what they say on November 6th,” adds Wasco.
Both men hold political office now. Wasco is the 4th Ward Alderman in Rockford. Cabello represents District 8 on the Winnebago County Board.