Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lt. Governor's race

Most of you may be aware that the Democratic Lt. Governor nominee Scott Lee Cohen had recently withdrawn from the race because of a media storm regarding domestic abuse allegations. As a result state Democratic Party officials are attempting to find someone to replace Cohen on the ballot to run with Gov. Pat Quinn. Also there is a move by State House Speaker Michael Madigan to abolish the Lt. Governor office.

Well there are attempts by two of our local Democratic party officials Constance Howard and Jesse Jackson Jr. who both serve on the party's state central committee to stake out their own choices for the new Lt. Governor nominee:
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-2nd), of Chicago, won the Feb. 2 primary for central committeeman over Emil Jones Jr. Jackson will represent 2nd Congressional District voters at a proposed March 15 meeting to slate the lieutenant governor candidate. His female counterpart representing the district is Chicago Ald. Carrie Austin (34th).

While Jackson said he didn't favor one person, his description of the ideal candidate seemed to match a certain Chicago alderman. His wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th), considered running for lieutenant governor last year.

"The ticket needs some excitement," Jackson said. "It needs someone to capture the imagination of the electorate by selecting someone who knows how to run a campaign, who knows how to respond quickly to prisoner release ads and to Harold Washington ads and to the state's deficit woes. That candidate has to bring resources nationally, and it's hard to imagine the existing candidates, who couldn't beat a pawnbroker in the primary process, are capable of beating a lumberjack in the general election."

The "pawnbroker" reference was aimed at Cohen, a pawn shop owner. The "lumberjack" is Jason Plummer, the Republican lieutenant governor candidate who manages a family lumber business.

Other Southland members of the central committee include Orland Hills Mayor Kyle Hastings; U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson (D-11th), of Crete; U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-1st), of Chicago, and state Rep. Connie Howard (D-Chicago) whose district includes the Southeast Side of Chicago and southeast suburbs.

"If Miss America made some not-so-wholesome decisions and she was moved out of the way, No. 2 would be the person," Howard said in explaining her support so far for Turner. "When the No. 1 person can't do it, No. 2 moves up. (Turner) is very qualified. He's well respected by all members of the caucus and by members on the other side of the aisle."
This is a good article! A lot can be said here about the current scramble to replace Cohen. Surely there are many who probably said this scramble shouldn't have been necessary.

BTW, if you're concerned about the race issue remember that there are blacks who are nominees for both state Comptroller and Treasurer. Also I think geography is an issue since most of the Democratic nominees are from the Chicagoland area.

If there are those who believe that the state's Lt. Gov. should be black. Let's not forget about downstaters who are concerned about the state being run by people from Chicago.

Either way, the Democratic nominee for Lt. Gov. is uncertain. The future of the Lt. Gov. spot is uncertain as already stated there are proposals to abolish the office. In fact there are those who believe no one should bother appointing a replacement nominee for Cohen. I do have my feelings on that.

Also the Republican nominee for Governor is uncertain. For now State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) is leading State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) but not by much currently. It'll be by at least Feb. 23rd before we'll even know the conclusion of that race.

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