To quote that great philosopher Frank Barone, “Holy crap!” I ain’t never had so many people seek my sage counsel than after the County Clerk posted the final candidate nominating paperwork yesterday afternoon.
Though there certainly weren’t a lot of surprises, the few revelations we do have make up for that lack of quantity with some real quality. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Chris Lauzen will bow out to support Dave Rickert
Many of you astutely noted that both the Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen and Treasurer Dave Rickert filed the paperwork to run for chairman. The burning question was, “Is Dave really running against Chris?”
And the answer to that fascinating query would be a resounding “no!” Chairman Lauzen, who always said he’d serve just two terms, will gracefully withdraw in support of Rickert’s candidacy.
The second kind-of-smoldering question was, “Jeff Ward! You scurrilous cad! How long have you been sitting on this knowledge?”
To be honest, for at least six months. And people have the nerve to say I can’t keep a secret! Well, actually they don’t say that, but it was a lot of fun to refute it anyway!
Why did I keep that epiphany under wraps? Because the last thing I wanted to do was sit back and watch the rest of the GOP rabble swarm into that race, as County Board members Mike Kenyon, Mark Davoust, and/or Doug Scheflow certainly would’ve done. You see, even if we combined their “political skills” into one candidate, that candidate still wouldn’t qualify to serve as a PTA bake sale chairman.
Though to be fair to Mark Davoust, his wife Melanie would have had to retrieve the “family jewels” from the mason jar she keeps in a locked cabinet before Mark could run for chairman, so he may never have become an issue.
The bottom line is, Dave Rickert is the best choice by far.
If Mike Madigan can apply this kind of electoral strategy, then why can’t the Republicans? I’ve been sayin’ the Illinois GOP should take a page from The Speaker’s playbook for years. So, now Dave’s path to the General is free and clear, and he’ll likely face Democrat Greg Ellsbree in the general only to make mincemeat out of him.
No sane flat-tax-levy-loving voter would ever want a high-ranking union official to be their County chairman. And I’ll be regularly reminding you of that!
As a voter bonus, not only will Dave follow in the Chairman’s fiscally sane footsteps, but unlike Chairman Lauzen and yours truly, he’s bound to be a little more diplomatic, too.
2. And speaking of Mark Davoust…
He has a primary AND a general election opponent, and it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy!
Steve Oscarson filed his paperwork for the 14th County Board District Republican nomination, and as far as I can tell, none of the usual suspects put him up to it. To further support that theory, Steve and his family collected all 72 signatures!
Considering Davoust’s greatest hits would amount to one blank disc – I dare you to name a single accomplishment – I think Mr. Oscarson has a real shot.
To increase those odds and repay an old political debt, I would be more than happy to offer Mr. Oscarson my reasonable campaign consulting skills at absolutely no charge (I’m at jeffnward@comcast, Steve).
Like Phil Lewis before him, I know exactly how to beat Mark Davoust.
Meanwhile, even if there was a “Blue Tsunami,” no Democratic will win that district for the foreseeable future.
3. You served the board and Kane County well John!
The second surprise, though it’s not all that shocking when you really think about it, is 12th District County Board member John Hoscheit won’t seek reelection. The truth is, I wouldn’t have lasted one term, much less serve on that often-challenging board since 1997!
John, also a successful former KC Forest Preserve Chairman, is exactly what every local politician should be. He’s smart, he’s politically savvy, he has no ego, he consistently avoids the partisan pitfalls, he plays well with others, and best of all, he never forgot that it’s always about his constituents.
John is one of the few members of that body who can walk away on his own terms and with his head held high. It will not be easy to replace him.
If 10th District Republican County Board member Susan Starrett, survives primary challenger David Brown – an unlikely proposition – considering that district’s blue shift, Democratic general election opponent Mary Kay Crantz will probably send her packing. (I love alliterative names!)
Aside from the sheer number of signatures, the notable thing about Mr. Brown’s paperwork is 2nd Ward Batavia Alderman Allan Wolf secured one sheet. So, Dave is willing to work, and he has some local support.
Meanwhile, Mark Kay acquired all 90 autographs herself, which also demonstrates no fear of knocking on doors.
Brenda Rodgers is running for recorder again, but incumbent Sandy Wegman is unbeatable.
We already know about Penny Wegman for Auditor and Theresa Barriero for Circuit Clerk, and if the Republicans aren’t VERY careful, they could win.
Jamie Mosser will beat Junaid Afeef in the Dem State’s Attorney primary and Mosser will go on to prevail over former Appellate Court Judge Bob Spence in the general.
If North Aurora Village President Dale Berman doesn’t fall prey to overconfidence, he’ll replace Ms. Barriero in County Board District 2, and Ron Ford should beat Matt Hanson in County Board 6.
Then Randy Hopp and a host of the usual suspects are running in the remaining Democratic board races, but who cares?
On the Republican side, St. Charles Township Republican Chairman Ken Shepro is running to replace Hoscheit, and he will win, but considering he’s survived some serious medical issues, I don’t understand why he’d embrace that kind of stress.
Other than that, there aren’t any GOP board races of note.
This column will substitute for Wednesday’s Quick Hits, and we will likely cover the State Rep and higher offices on Friday.