To slightly paraphrase Yeats, why does the notion of “slouching toward Bethlehem” come to mind whenever I start thinking about Nov. 6? Put more succinctly, given some of our choices, I’m not nearly as excited about voting as I typically am.
A large part of the problem is that both presidential contenders—neither one of whom inspires goose bumps—have given up on us as a sure thing. When you consider that dastardly electoral college, the presidential portion of our ballots simply won’t count for much.
I suppose we can take some solace from not being bombarded with PAC fueled TV attack ads, but considering recent history, this turnout will likely be even more disappointing than the last one.
Don’t get me wrong, there are decent local candidates out there, but they tend to occupy the less-visible and lower-level races.
For example, with all due respect to challenger Ed Nendick, he doesn’t stand a chance in heck. I’ve enjoyed a number of lengthy conversations with GOP court clerk contender Tom Hartwell, and he will do a fine job.
While I certainly laud Mr. Nendick for giving it a go, to semi-paraphrase the late 43rd Ward Chicago Alderman Paddy Bauler, Kane County ain’t ready for a Democrat—yet. We’ll talk again in another eight years…
State’s Attorney Joe McMahon is a shoo-in. Of course, that prediction is always easier when there’s no Democratic opponent. Though I loved John Barsanti, I’ve never heard so many prosecutors and defense attorneys wax so poetically about that same guy.
Republican Terry Hunt is also running unopposed for county auditor. He and incoming board chairman Chris Lauzen will work well together.
And speaking of Sen. Lauzen, he’s the candidate I’m the most excited about. After eight years of the McConnaughay regime, I look forward to deeply inhaling the fresh air that will soon be wafting through those Building A hallways.
It would be nice if Democratic non-candidate Sue Klinkhamer actually acted like she wanted the job, but watch for her catch on with Ms. McConnaughay’s impending 33rd State Senate District administration.
It’s the only plausible reason Klinkhamer is running on the disastrous Kevin Burns platform of hiring a county executive, raising the tax levy, and supporting the 50 percent department head raises that are the subject of a lawsuit.
Though 11th District County Board incumbent Mike Donohue frequently drives me nuts, just like Mr. Nendick, Democratic opponent Martha Hanna will have to pull off the upset of the century to prevail.
Geneva ain’t ready for a Democrat (unless his name is Kevin Burns.)
The one county race where we might see an upset is for coroner. If Democrat Tao Martinez can mobilize the Elgin and Aurora vote, he just might knock off Republican nominee Rob Russell. And that wouldn’t bother me one bit.
I’m not saying Russell would do a bad job, but he’s one of the last of the McConnaughay crew and he’s had always had his eye on sheriff—a job for which he simply isn’t qualified.
But once you get past the county level, you’re looking right over the edge of a deep and dark abyss.
We covered Ms. McConnaughay last week. She’s such a weak candidate that she actually knocked her Libertarian challenger off the ballot. Again, expect her to hook up with state Sen. Kirk Dillard and make a run for lieutenant governor.
Then there’s 65th District state Rep. Tim Schmitz, who’s also running unopposed. Aside from kissing Minority Leader Tom Cross’s posterior at every turn, please tell me one thing this invisible representative has ever done?
I thought so!
This brings us to likely 25th District state Senator Jim Oberweis—the only man on the planet who’s spent $6 million to go to the state senate. It kinda makes you wonder about his whole “send a businessman to Springfield” motif.
You heard it here first! After three short months in the state capitol, Jim, the man who couldn’t stay awake for those short County Board meetings, will wonder why he ever wanted to run in the first place.
I’d certainly like to see Democrat Corinne Pierog send him down in 0 for 5 flames, but she’s not running a very effective campaign.
Finally, if you follow that old “if you can’t say something nice” adage, then it’s gonna get awfully quiet whenever you bring up 14th District Congressmen Randy Hultgren. He’s in so far over his head that Jacques Cousteau would be jealous.
After endorsing both Burns and Lauzen in the county chair race, his subsequent town hall performances were so bad that his Republican constituency started heckling him. You know you’re in trouble when you start seeing a serious number of Democratic opponent Dennis Anderson’s signs popping up in Geneva.
I’m not saying the Anderson will win, but If Bill Foster could do it …
All that said, and even though I may not be chomping at the ballot bit, I’m certainly going to get out to that Nov. 6 polling place and make my wishes known. And I’d encourage you to do the same.
If you don’t vote, it gives the insiders the impression that you really don’t care and that no one’s watching. And you can ask any Genevan exactly what can happen then.