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Your Vote 2020: State Senate 46th

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EAST PEORIA (HOI) -- The race for Illinois' State Senate District 46 pits 14-year incumbent and Democrat Dave Koehler against Republican challenger and Tazewell County Treasurer Mary Burress.

The race, at least on television, has been contentious, both sides arguing over Koehler's record.

The 46th includes much of Peoria, East Peoria, Pekin and Canton, and stretches from Lewistown all the way to Peoria Heights. Heart of Illinois ABC asked the candidates the exact same questions, including what they want to achieve if either re-elected or elected.

"The PPP, payroll protection program, helped a lot of businesses and that needs to be redone, because they've run out of this money...we just need to make sure we don't unnecessarily lose businesses," said Koehler.

"No more taxes, Illinois cannot afford one more tax, we have got to learn how to live within our means and stop taxing our way out of debt," said Burress.

When asked why she should be the one to to serve the people of the 46th, Burress said more needs to be done for those who live in the district.

"We have had far too many plants close, thousands of good-paying jobs have just left the 46th district alone, I think that I could vote for the people," she said.

Koehler said he has done a lot for his constituents, including several infrastructure projects.

"Today we have a new capital bill, we see that Route 24 that goes down to Fulton County is going to be widened to four lanes, that's critically important because that is such a death trap," he said.

When asked about how COVID-19 has impacted their campaigns, both candidates agreed they had to adjust strategies but are confident they are still able to get their message to voters.

"We've had to rely a lot more on phone work, on volunteers doing mailings and other ways of communicating. We've done some very limited door to door, but we're very careful, we wear our masks, we stand back and distance," said Koehler.

"We don't have large gatherings of course, but we're going door to door, we're certainly keeping our distance, I wear my mask, and people enjoy that, they want to hear from the candidate," said Burress.

Andy Weber

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