Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Election cycle (ugh!) is now underway

With the Labor Day holiday now past us, we’re technically in the time period in which candidates for electoral office can be campaigning without appearing to be tacky or self-serving.

TRACY: Vote for her, Dillard comes along
We’re 155 days away from the March primary (less if you choose to use early voting). It’s time for the candidates to start circulating the nominating petitions that actually get them on the ballots for March 18.

WE’RE GOING TO learn who the candidates for governor will choose to have as running mates – although two of them have already let their choices out of the bag of secrets, so to speak.

Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale has chosen a state representative from Quincy – following the concept of some sort of regional balance (suburbs and western Illinois) – to be the Top of the Ticket for the Republicans.

Unless the voters decide to choose the Dan Rutherford option. The Illinois treasurer has let it be known that he wants Steven Kim, the would-be politico who four years ago ran unsuccessfully for state attorney general.

Rutherford is touting the idea of an ethnic balance, since Kim would be the first person of Korean (or Asian, in general) ethnic background to get elected to a statewide office – if the Rutherford/Kim ticket were to prevail in the primary AND in the Nov. 4 general election.

NONE OF THE other gubernatorial dreamers have come up with running mates – although they are likely to do so in the near future. After all, if they’re going to run as a pair, they have to submit nominating petitions identifying them as a pair.

And if they’re starting to circulate them in coming days, they need to know in coming days who they’re being paired up with.

I’ve hinted before that this could be a significant factor in the gubernatorial race because the actual candidates themselves aren’t the kind of people who can inspire people to want to turn out and vote for them.

Steve Kim (left) is going from a failed attorney general bid to a gubernatorial running-mate slot. No word on whether anyone thinks failed secretary of state candidate Robert Enriquez is beneficial to the GOP in 2014. Photograph provided by Steven Kim for Attorney General 2010
There aren’t any “Barack Obama-like” candidates running for office in Illinois next year.

I REALLY DO believe this will be an election cycle in which (particularly for governor) people will be voting against people. They’re going to make their pick based on who they detest the least!

Voters will walk into the booths at their polling place, see a batch of names whose very existence annoys them to no end, and will cast their vote for whoever happens to be left.

And while I’ll be the first to admit that having an incumbent governor who has generated approval ratings as low as 26 percent doesn’t make things look good, I see all the other declared candidates for governor as having significant segments of the populace who can’t stand the thought of them, either!

That is why I go into this election cycle being completely unsure who should be thought of as the favorite. Each of them will have their hard-core followers – along with people who would symbolically slash their wrists at the very thought of that person becoming the resident of the Executive Mansion in Springfield.

THIS ELECTION CYCLE might be less annoying if there were another office up for grabs that would have serious competition. But Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., is going for his fourth term in the U.S. Senate being challenged by Doug Truax and Chad Koppie.

FRERICHS: Wants to replace Rutherford
Truax has a military background, and is likely to try to appeal to the hard-core ideologues of Illinois. Which might be a problem since those are the same people that Koppie usually tries to appeal to during his perennial bids (all unsuccessful) for elective office.

Which is typical of all the other statewide offices within Illinois government that are up for grabs in 2014 – the most competitive will be for Illinois treasurer, where state Rep. Tom Cross, R-Oswego, and Bob Grogan of suburban DuPage County both want to challenge state Sen. Michael Frerichs, D-Champaign, for the right to replace Rutherford.

They might all be hardworking, earnest public officials. But let’s be honest – none of them are going to inspire Illinois to want to turn out to vote on March 18.


No comments: