Incumbent Lang faces newcomer Romano in 16th House
Name: Lou Lang
Family: Married with five children
Education: B.A.in political science, University of Illinois; J.D., DePaul University College of Law
Name: Vincent Romano
Family: Lives with two dogs
Updated: November 26, 2012 6:13AM
Republican Vincent Romano, who is taking on 25-year Democratic incumbent Lou Lang for the Illinois 16th District House seat Nov. 6, talks about running against “the Democrat Madigan Machine.”
Although Romano did not return inquiries by the Review, references to House Speaker Michael Madigan fill his website and other campaign literature. Call his advertised campaign telephone number and Romano refers to Lang, who serves as a deputy leader under Madigan, as “Madigan’s right-hand man.” He urges voters to “fire Madigan, lose Lang.”
But Lang points to 25 years of experience in Springfield, noting he has held a multitude of roles and has been involved in difficult and key issues regarding Illinois.
Lang has served as chairman of the Gaming Committee and has also served on the Committee of the Whole, the Insurance Committee, the Judiciary I Civil Law Committee, the Adoption Reform Committee and the Special Committee.
The last time Lang ran opposed was in 2004 when he went up against Chicagoan Michael Moses. Lang won 62 percent of the vote.
Lang serves in the House as the state faces a huge deficit, and fiscal issues — in large part due to huge pension obligations — have become a matter of urgency.
Lang said it’s important all parties reach a solution, but noted the Illinois Constitution states the Legislature cannot diminish a public employee’s pension. However, the retirement age and employee contributions could be increased as part of an overall package, he said.
At a recent public forum, Lang noted that Illinois has created more jobs in recent years than other surrounding states, a sign of some growth.
Lang is known as a proponent of raising revenue through gambling expansion, and recently sponsored a gambling expansion bill, not his first, which Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed.
Lang recently formed the first legislative Asian-American Caucus, stating that Illinois Asian-Americans need to have their voices heard in Springfield.
“The Illinois General Assembly has no Asian-American members while I have a district that is 30 percent Asian,” he said.
Romano is a full-time financial advisor and a partner with the Romano Group “whose primary focus is to guide the investment strategies of retirees in achieving their primary goal of maintaining their standard-of-living throughout their retirement years.”
Romano also worked in the family business in real estate. He assisted his father and brother in the Financial Services Industry after serving in that industry as an intern during college.
Romano has said he acquired an interest in politics early in life. His family’s earlier involvement in politics — his grandfather was a precinct captain in Chicago’s 36th Ward — “nurtured an instinct to serve the public good.”
“When the state cannot maintain a lifestyle within its allocated budget, it erodes the ability of its citizens to maintain their lifestyles,” Romano has said.
Romano has promised to work toward making Illinois a business-friendly state to attract economic development and grow jobs.
The 16th Illinois House District includes parts of Skokie, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove and Rogers Park in Chicago.