Back to the 43rd folks! When we last left off, there were suddenly four GOP hopefuls vying to provide the opposition to former Elgin City Councilwoman Anna Moeller’s sudden Democratic slating. In alphabetical order those contenders are:
- Elgin Attorney Jeff Meyer
- Former State Senator Steve Rauschenberger
- Elgin City Councilman Toby Shaw, and
- Kane County Recorder Sandy Wegmam
But despite that stiff competition and the fact that yours truly insinuated a politically refurbished Rauschenberger was the only real option, it appears all but certain that Mr. Meyer will be the one to move forward.
I had to laugh when a friend who’s known Mr. Meyer since he was a wee lad wrote me to say that, at about the age of 14, some folks were saying, “That boy’s going to be president someday.” And my fondest wish is they’re employing a kind of prescience that only comes with proximity because I just don’t see him coming out on top of this one.
Saying the Illinois Republican Party is in disarray is like saying conservatives are a bit perturbed by the Affordable Care Act. Jeff has no political track record to speak of, Ms. Moeller can expect the full weight of Mr. Madigan’s machine, and if the 43rd gets any more Democratic Rahm Emanuel is going to start sending troops out to stake a claim.
To sum it up even more succinctly, in his initial 2012 foray, Meyer lost to Democratic County Board Member Deb Allen by 30 points. Though Ms. Allen is a capable campaigner, she’s so nice and polite that I’m convinced she could single-handedly give politicians a good name.
Ah! But once you move up to the state rep level, you’re not in Kansas anymore Toto. Please; I’m certainly not trying to cast any aspersions on Ms. Moeller’s campaign character, but the last thing you can accuse those insistent state-wide Democrats of being is “polite.”
They are far more formidable than a county board candidate who essentially ran her own campaign.
But despite my repeated pleas for good candidates to choose their battles wisely, they continue to persist in making poor choices. To wit, taking on Ms. Allen in that district was GOP suicide and the 43rd is looking almost as bad.
The new Kane County Republican leadership team of Hartwell and Skillicorn may be good, but they’re not miracle workers.
And here’s the thing. Unless you have Oberweis cash or Mike Noland’s blind luck, given the perpetual news cycle, if you lose twice out of the gate, you will get pegged as a perpetual candidate who can’t quite make it to the top. And the fact that it’s not fair does nothing to diminish its reality.
So it pains me to no end when someone with the promise of a Jeff Meyer is so eager to press forward that they trip over the starting gate never to recover. Again, for an example of how it’s done, please refer back to Toby Shaw.
He may have lost his first Elgin City Council race, but he paid attention and gained a boatload of experience in defeat. Next time, instead of entering the field with all the veterans, he chose the 2-year council seat race where he was the frontrunner from day one. Then he proceeded to put together the kind of team that didn’t simply nod their heads and applaud, they went out and did the job.
Could Meyer pull off a miracle? Sure! But expecting to win the lottery isn’t a sound financial plan either.