The race for Winnebago County Board Chairman is heating up as we are now just more than two months away from the March 15th primary election in Illinois.
Incumbent Republican Board Chairman Scott Christiansen will face current Rock Valley College Board Chairman Frank Haney in the upcoming election.
Both men paid a visit to the 13 WREX studios Wednesday night for an in-depth sit down interview and debate about topics and issues front-and-center in Winnebago County right now. The taping was for WREX's new Sunday morning show, "13 In Focus," which launches at 7:30 a.m. this Sunday, Jan. 10 on 13 WREX.
In the debate, 13 News anchors Sean Muserallo and Kristin Crowley questioned the candidates on their background, their reason for running for this office, and on major community issues like crime, police department collaboration, property taxes and economic development.
"I feel we've positioned ourselves. There's a lot of great things going on," Christiansen said. He continued, "We've fought through some very tough budget times-actually the worst since the Great Depression and we've been able to work our way through that. We cut $24 million out of that budget since 2008 and we've still maintained service levels-improved them. We reduced our disposition time in felony court trials-down 200 days. This is all big stuff."
"When I look at the scoreboard, I don't see us winning right now," Haney said. "Since I graduated high school in 1991 we've had a billion dollars of wealth leave our community. That's middle class families, wealthy families and a lot of the businesses they owned or worked at and that's left us with a situation where we've seen an increase in poverty, an increase in crime and at the same time we've seen a decrease in collaboration."
Tune into 13 News at 5, 6 & 10 on Thursday and Friday, as well as 13 News at 6 & 10 on Saturday for snippets from the sit down interviews and the debate. Then be sure to tune in this Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. for "13 In Focus" where you will see the entire debate between the two candidates.