I want to once again point out that Elgin attorney Jeff Meyer is a good guy and a good Republican. It’s just that, when it comes to taking on Anna Moeller in the Elgin 43rd District State Rep race, I don’t think he has the intangibles (or money) to put him over the top.
That’s not to say he can’t acquire both through any number of means, but the 43rd is becoming more and more Democratic every day and, not only is Ms. Moeller a capable campaigner, but she’s got a political presence that will make her very difficult to beat.
Ah! But the political fates have been kind to this poor blogger because we suddenly have a slew of new contenders! Perhaps it’s the mere presence of eminently capable new Kane County GOP Chairman, Tom Hartwell, but since each one of these hat throwers is an interesting proposition, let’s get to work!
1. Elgin City Councilman Toby Shaw
He may be a bit too conservative for me at times, but I generally love Mr. Shaw (please don’t hold that against him) and I don’t say that very often. After his first election loss, instead of moaning and descending into being an angry “ancillary player,” he learned from those mistakes, surrounded himself with folks who know how to campaign, chose the right venue and won!
Though he’s certainly got room for growth, he’s been far too smart to earn a label that would stunt his future and not many freshman politicos get that.
But my fear is that Toby is repeating Jim Oberweis’ overreaching mistake. He’s only served on the council for a short year and, personally, I’d like to see him amass a little more experience before he makes that big leap to the Springfield morass.
That said, though I don’t think he could win this one, he would give Ms. Moeller a run for her money.
There’s also the possibility that, with two former Elgin city councilman vying for the very same seat, requiring yet another aldermanic replacement, it would create the kind of endless feedback loop that would spontaneously cause the visible Universe to collapse in on itself and become one giant black hole.
And, if you’ve been watching Cosmos, you know we don’t want that.
2. Kane County Recorder Sandy Wegman
The question I feel compelled to ask my good friend Ms. Wegman is, why on God’s green earth would you want to take this kind of pay cut and have to run for office every other year? The fact that you’d even consider this possibility should automatically disqualify you from contention.
Of course, I kid the Recorder, because Sandy runs a tight ship that costs county taxpayers absolutely nothing! And she happens to be a woman which would mitigate the disadvantage a male candidate would be facing.
That said, Sandy hasn’t had to break a sweat to win in quite awhile which makes me wonder if she’s ready for a campaign in which the Democrats are going to pull out all the stops.
3. Former State Senator Steve Rauschenberger
This is the most intriguing possibility of them all and you already know just how much I love the sandal wearing, chain smoking, perpetually smiling politician from Elgin. (Sorry for cheating on you Toby!) There’s no doubt he would present the toughest challenge, but that’s only if he’s managed to rekindle the political fire from the days when he was one of the Fabulous Five (look it up!).
Remember, Steve only came close in that 2010 22nd District State Senate race, despite incumbent Mike Noland handing him a number of intriguing campaign possibilities. Though Mr. Rauschenberger’s budgetary acumen is virtually untouchable, that’s not nearly enough without the kind relentless campaign that securing a state rep seat requires.
So to sum it up, Toby has a great future, but he needs to serve at least one full term on the Elgin City Council first. The fact that you never hear about Sandy Wegman proves just what a great job she’s doing, but why jump ship when the new one is ten times the headache for half the money?
Jeff Meyer has great intentions and his day will come, but of these four candidates, the only one who could get the State GOP to throw in the cash to make it interesting, is Steve Rauschenberger. And if the former State Senator manages to get a new political heart from the great Wizard, then it’s going to be a very interesting race.
As an aside, and even though this story came from a variety of sources, I would encourage you to read Courier-News reporter Dave Gathman’s account of this candidate conundrum. At a time when examples of good writing are becoming few and far between, it’s always a pleasure to read one of his pieces.
Pay attention to the flow, the cadence, and how he answers your questions as quickly as they pop into your head. Given a reporter’s constraints, it doesn’t get much better than that folks!