Illinois 1994 Election Campaign Might Be `Herstoric'

IT could be the Anita Hill thing. It could be a fluke. Or it could be that women have paid their dues.

For the first time in the United States, according to two national groups, women are pursuing all of a state's five top elected posts. In the 1994 election, women want to take over the Illinois offices of governor, treasurer, comptroller, attorney general, and secretary of state. And some said privately they may run for lieutenant governor.

``This is an important state to watch. Anytime you have a record number of women running ... you can change the face of government,'' said Pat Reilly, a spokeswoman for the National Women's Political Caucus in Washington, D.C.

Susan Carroll, senior researcher for Rutgers University's Center for the American Woman and Politics, cites a combination of factors, including Anita Hill's Senate testimony on sexual harassment.

Whatever their reasons for running, political affiliation or posts sought, the Illinois women candidates all say they plan to change the way government works. ``There will be a greater focus on the progress of the family, and that covers the gambit of issues from education to work-force preparation to health care and issues affecting seniors,'' said Democratic State Sen. Penny Severns, a candidate for treasurer.

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