Fact Finder: Senate’s 50th District

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ILLINOIS — Politicians are spending thousands on attack ads to call out their opponents ahead of Tuesday’s primary. Many of those are ads for the race in the Senate’s 50th District.

There’s been no penny-pinching in the race between Bryce Benton and Sam McCann as Benton tries to oust McCann from his state Senate seat.

McCann has been in office for five years. Benton has Governor Rauner’s endorsement, but is painting himself as a campaign outsider.

He currently works as an Illinois State Trooper. He’s gotten the support of the Liberty Principles Political Action Committee which is running an ad on his behalf.

“Bryce Benton is the choice because Sam McCann is disqualified. It was bad enough when he took $80,000 in shady reimbursements, but when he lied about serving in the Marines, that was the last straw.”

Let’s dig into both these claims. First, while the dollar amount is slightly lower, McCann’s office did request $38,000 in reimbursements for travel in 2015, but he says it’s funded by private donations not taxpayer dollars.

The second claim, about lying about serving in the Marines goes back to 2010 allegations McCann exaggerated his military service. McCann did not respond to requests for comment, but has previously shrugged off claims in the past saying it’s just drudging up old rumors.

Benton’s campaign had this to say about the ad: “Lying about a military record is not only wrong, but a disservice to our brave men and women who have actually served in uniform.”

But, the McCann campaign says in its ad, Benton’s stooping too low.

“Bryce Benton’s people have gone too far sending waves of surveillance teams to track McCann, his wife; even his kids.”

That ad cites “eyewitness accounts” as the source of that information. The Benton campaign denies those allegations, calling them “hi-jinks.”

No Democratic challenger has filed to run in this race, so the primary essentially makes the General Election decision too. 

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