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Election 2018 candidate: Terra Costa Howard, 48th Illinois House District

48th Illinois House District candidate Terra Costa Howard
48th Illinois House District candidate Terra Costa Howard

Get federal, state and suburban county executive races here.

Political party




Town of residence

Glen Ellyn

Current occupation and employer

Attorney, sole practitioner


JD, DePaul University College of Law; BA, Political Science/Speech Communications, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana

Immediate family

Husband, three daughters


Civic involvement and volunteer work

Member, Glen Ellyn Plan Commission (July 2015- April 2018)
Member, PTA, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School, Hadley Middle School
Glenbard West Boosters
Girl Scout leader
St. James religious education instructor

Previous elected offices held

Two terms, Glen Ellyn School Board of Education, District 41, including two years as Board President

What should Illinois do to improve its business climate and promote job growth?

We need to get our state budget under control, so businesses can make plans with certainty. We need to determine if we’re getting a good bang for our buck from the state programs that we already have in place, and we need to ensure that companies that benefit from those programs are actually creating good new jobs for Illinoisans. We should investigate the tax credits and programs that other states use to attract and develop business, but we shouldn’t get stuck in a race to the bottom by always trying to hand out more goodies than anybody else. We should evaluate the packages that other states are offering and talk to businesses to find out what is really meaningful to them. We need to be “farmers,” not “hunters.” As an Illinois business owner, I’m offended when my state spends my tax dollars to attract other businesses instead of working with me right here to help us expand and create jobs here.

What gun control measures do you support at the state level?

I am ready and motivated to fight for commonsense gun laws, and I’m not afraid to stand up to the powerful gun lobby and politicians to protect our children.

I support:

A ban on high-capacity magazines.
Requiring statewide licensing of gun dealers.
Closing the gun show loophole.
Raising the minimum age to purchase assault weapons.
Prohibiting trigger modifications like the ones used in Las Vegas to turn firearms into fully automatic weapons.

I believe families want our leaders in Springfield to take action against gun violence. Peter Breen’s 93% rating from the NRA says everything we need to know about him and his leadership on common-sense gun safety.

What are your thoughts on the steps Illinois has taken to address its pension crisis? What additional reforms are necessary?

Our state’s pension mess was created over DECADES by legislators on both sides of the aisle. We need to bring all parties together at the table and come up with a thoughtful, responsible, bipartisan plan to put our pension funds on a solid fiscal foundation. We need to make sure that the state fulfills its obligations to public employees who have counted on their modest pensions to fund their retirements – and we need to pass laws with real teeth in them to make sure that irresponsible legislators can never make a mess like this again.

The current political climate across the United States seems more divided than ever. What will you do to foster cooperation and compromise among members of the Illinois General Assembly?

I’m not interested in partisan gridlock – I’m interested in getting things done. Anyone who knows me knows that I will work with anyone, regardless of our differences, to do the right thing. As a school board member, we frequently had to overcome disagreements, find compromise, and make tough decisions together to deliver results for our students. As an attorney, I’m a certified and trained mediator. I have built my career around my ability to solve disputes and come to reasonable agreements that both side can accept. I am always ready to have a conversation. I am always eager to keep an open mind. And I am always willing to learn from other people – even those with whom I disagree – as we work to reach a solution.

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