Dawn Abernathy

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Dawn Abernathy is a 2016 Republican political candidate for the District 59 seat in the Illinois House of Representatives. She is running against incumbent State Representative Carol Sente.


Education and career

Abernathy received her Bachelor of Science in Politics and Public Affairs, Public Relations, and Marketing from the University of Miami in 1988, and her Master in Education from National-Louis University in 2009. She worked as a development director for Santa Maria del Popolo Church from 2003-2007.[1]

Public service

Abernathy became a Mundelein Trustee in 2013. During her term, she advocated for independent living facilities and the redevelopment of downtown Mundelein. She is affiliated with several local charities and organizations including Santa Maria del Popolo Church, CASA, Mundelein Mainstreet, Mundelein-Vernon Hills Rotary Club, and Carmel High School.[2]


Dawn Abernathy has lived most of her life in Lake County. She was raised in Libertyville and attended Carmel High School in Mundelein, where she met her future husband, Mark Abernathy. Her father worked for Abbott Laboratories, and her mother stayed home to raise the family.[2]

In 1994, Dawn and Mark married. Mark Abernathy is a small business owner of Abernathy’s Department Store in Mundelein, a business that has been in his family for 57 years.

The couple have two daughters. They are also foster parents; over the course of their foster parenting experience, they have taken care of a total of five foster children.[2]

2016 election

The primary election was held on March 15, 2016, in which both candidates ran unopposed. The general election will be held on November 8, 2016.[3]

Abernathy has named mental health and substance abuse issues as a top priority in her agenda if elected.[4]

She said she believes that Illinois has suffered under Democratic control, especially on the issue of government spending. In response to the passage of the stop-gap budget in July 2016, Abernathy said, "The stop-gap budget did nothing but hurt the financial crisis we are facing in Illinois. We have to cut spending."[5] She criticized Carol Sente (her opponent) for not taking action to reduce taxes on Illinois businesses.[5]

Abernathy has also scrutinizes spoken out about the state’s pension debt, which has increased due to the state's poor credit rating and slow investment gains. She believes the first step to address the issue is to move all new state employees a 401(k)-style retirement plan. Abernathy told the Lake County Gazette that she will personally opt out of the state pension plan as part of her commitment to pension reform.[5]

Because of Illinois' relatively high unemployment rate, Abernathy has said that she supports economic reform, job growth, and state assistance for families in need.


External links