3 months ago by Bob Gough
State Sen. Kirk Dillard's selection of Jil Tracy to be his running mate certainly is going to help the Hinsdale Republican in West-Central Illinois.
Dillard needed to shore up conservatives and this pick will do just that. Tracy's voting record is solidly conservative and she has served to two high-profile committees: The Blagojevich impeachment committee and the pension reform committee.
I believe the pick helps Dillard take votes away from both Bruce Rauner and Bill Brady in West-Central Illinois. The Tracy name and ability to raise money will help shore up Dillard downstate.
And while detractors will say there aren't that many votes to grab here, with four men (for now) jockeying for position, and with Dillard having only lost to Brady in the 2010 primary by 193 votes, this pick should find enough votes in Adams, Brown and Hancock Counties.
Tracy worked hard for Randy Frese, who ran for the Senate and lost to Sen. John Sullivan last year. It will be interesting to see how that dynamic comes into play if/when Frese throws his hat in the ring for Tracy's House seat. Frese was very gracious today and did not want to discuss it, saying numerous times it was Tracy and Dillard's day.
(By the way, I loathe referring to an elected office as anyone's seat. The seats all belong to the voters...to the people. It's just easier to write it that way.)
Tracy and her family also strongly supported Kyle Moore's mayoral effort. Moore made no bones about his support for the Dillard/Tracy ticket as he introduced the pair from the Washington Park gazebo this morning. GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford was probably counting on Moore's support in Quincy before Tracy's involvement changed the game.
So, moving on:
If Frese does run, does he have a primary?
Will the Democrats be able to field a credible candidate? An open seat is a whole different ballgame than a well-funded incumbent.
How heavily does Sullivan get involved? The Sullivan/Frese race was hard fought and while Frese won Adams County, Sullivan carried the rest of the 47th. If it is Frese for the GOP, does that matter or does Sullivan work hard to find a Democrat regardless of who the Republican is?
Any chance John Spring decides he wants to take another crack at politics after his April loss to Moore in the Quincy mayor's race? There are few proven Democrat vote getters around these parts these days. Brent Fischer is one, but I spoke to him today and he said he was perfectly happy being sheriff and is planning to run for re-election.
Today's announcement was only the beginning.