Over the coming days and weeks, I'll profile some of the statewide and local races that are of interest to Central Illinois. As a note, the endorsements given in my posts are mine, not the blog's...unless of course the blog agrees with me!
First off, the Governor's race...
The major candidates on the Democrat side are current governor and former Lt. Governor Pat Quinn and state Comptroller Dan Hynes. It doesn’t look like this race will be very close, with Governor Quinn leading Hynes 49-23 in a recent Chicago Tribune poll.
This race will lean on Hynes’ ability to tie Governor Quinn with impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich. Quinn has tried to maintain his distance, but they did serve together for 6 years, even though Quinn says he hardly ever talked to Blagojevich.
One of the major drawbacks to Quinn is his inability to pass any sort of meaningful ethics reform in Illinois. Almost a year after Blagojevich’s impeachment, it’s business as usual in Illinois. Also, most people don’t realize that as one of the creators of the Citizens Utility Board, Quinn was a huge influence in electric deregulation in Illinois in 1997, and CUB’s endorsement of the bill that ultimately passed, which was crafted by Commonwealth Edison, was one of the deciding factors of the huge electric rate increases seen by Illinoisan’s in 2007.
As comptroller of Illinois, Dan Hynes has been very adept at creating financial well being in Illinois. However, most of his efforts were seen as an affront to Gov. Blagojevich, and little got done. Even with this, he’s a popular figure who has done well for the state.
On the Republican side, the race for the nomination is wide open. The announced candidates are:
Adam Andrzejewski (Hinsdale, IL) Founder of ForTheGoodofIllinois.org, businessman, and self-made millionaire
Bill Brady (Bloomington, IL) State Senator, real estate and construction businessman, ran for GOP nomination in 2006
Kirk Dillard (Hinsdale, IL) State senator and former Chief of Staff to Jim Edgar
Dan Proft (Chicago, IL) Political Commentator
Robert Schillerstrom (Naperville, IL) DuPage County Board Chairman
Andy McKenna (Chicago, IL) Former Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party
Jim Ryan (Lisle, IL) Former attorney general of Illinois
Adam Andrzejewski is a young and up and coming political figure in Illinois. While he doesn’t have the name recognition or support to win this primary, he’s a strong fiscal conservative who founded ForTheGoodOfIllinois, which is a grassroots effort to promote transparency in government spending in Illinois. He doesn’t have a shot in this election, but definitely keep an eye out for him in the future.
Bill Brady is a lifelong resident of Illinois, and has done much in the Illinois Senate to try and create a business climate in that will encourage job growth, as well as revamp the woefully underfunded public university system. He would be good for Downstate Illinois, but doesn’t have much name recognition outside of his own legislative district.
Kirk Dillard is a well known political name, both in Illinois and nationally. However, most conservatives view him as being too liberal for their liking. He appeared in an infamous 2007 campaign ad in Iowa for Barrack Obama. Oddly enough, in 2004, the New York Times ran a piece urging Dillard to run against Obama for the US Senate. While he has a strong history of being bipartisan, his reputation is too tarnished among conservatives to win a primary. He’s an effective lawmaker, and may very well make a fine governor, but not for conservatives.
Dan Proft is a media commentator and founder of a large communications firm based in Chicago. He served as a consultant to Jack Ryan’s 2004 Senate campaign, and continued to work for Alan Keyes once Ryan dropped out. Proft often argues that many of the state’s problems come from the “Chicago 9”, which includes Gov. Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Comptroller Dan Hynes, Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Secretary of State Jesse White, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, and Cook County Board President Todd Stroger. He is against tax increases to close the budget deficit, and proposes a “merit-based opportunity” for admission to the University of Illinois, in response to their admission scandal.
Bob Schillerstrom is the current chairman of the DuPage County Board Chairman and former Assistant State’s Attorney for DuPage County. His main campaign feature seems to be that he’s a social moderate and a Springfield outsider. While he does have executive experience in government, he doesn’t have much of a track record.
Andy McKenna has a lot of name recognition from his years as state GOP Chairman. His views are very consistent with GOP talking points, and he’s an effective campaigner. However, I’m not sure if being in charge of the Illinois GOP is a strong selling point for someone right now.
Jim Ryan is one of the best known Republicans in the state, and, may have won the office of Governor in 2002 if he didn’t happen to have the same last name as George Ryan. He served as Illinois Attorney General from 1995-2003, and in his 1998 re-election bid won the endorsement of every major newspaper in Illinois. In recent polls, he’s been the only Republican picked to beat either Dan Hynes or Pat Quinn in a potential General Election.
Big Luke’s Endorsements:
Democratic Primary: Dan Hynes
Republican Primary: Jim Ryan
1 day ago