Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Why Every Race Counts

The other day I finally got to meet Rob Freedman. What, never heard of him? You probably haven't heard of other local Democratic candidates Doug Henk, Hiram Wurf, or Mike Kisler either. Getting Kerry in the White House is where our focus should be right now? Not these local guys, right?

Well, my conversation with Rob, done as he dropped off some newly minted yard signs, underscored why these types of candidates are important to the cause, as each has made an impact on their race, and more importantly, on the county GOP:

Rob Freedman's Republican opponent, now facing an organized challenger with an active campaign effort, has spent over $100,000 on his campaign so far. You read that right: $100K! That's $100,000 less the local Republican party has to support other Republican candidates. It's another GOP candidate who isn't getting a free ride to re-election. It's another race that cutting into the GOP donor base in the county. It's turning out to be one of the most expensive local races on record, and it's costing the Republicans dearly to keep their man in office.

Doug Henk's opponent, facing an organized and energized opponent, has actually had to campaign for the first time since being elected. The 18-member DuPage County Board is composed entirely of GOP members. Entirely. As Hiram Wurf,- another candidate for a Board seat - notes:

The Board unanimously voted on a non-agenda item endorsing O'Hare expansion in 2003 that was found on appeal (Sept 2004) to be in violation of the Open Meetings Act.  The endorsement deprived DuPage citizens in Bensenville, who stand to loose their homes, businesses, work and community in the expansion, a chance to publicly confront their elected officials who moved from being publicly against the expansion to endorsing it, with no public discussion or warning.

Because of Doug and Hiram and their spirited campaigns, GOP Board members have to campaign, spend money, and otherwise do things other than help the DuPage County GOP.

Mike Kisler's opponent dropped out mid-way through the race. With a viable challenger, the county GOP had a nasty battle to figure out who to support as a replacement:

It might have been DuPage County GOP Day, but local Republicans Thursday couldn't have been more divided.

The mudslinging in the race to slate a coroner's candidate continued - even on the one day each year the troubled party unites to raise money and celebrate shared political ideals.

The local contest pits powerful county board member Bill Maio of Itasca against Peter Siekmann, a 28-year deputy coroner from West Chicago with limited political experience.

Thanks to Mike's campaign, there has been much focus placed on what otherwise would have been a back door replacement, with the added benefit of even more GOP infighting here in Illinois. It's all good.

You see, no matter what the outcomes of their races, these candidate show that every race matters. Through their efforts they have diverted large sums of money, time and resources from the county GOP and even helped sow a little discord in the opposing party along the way. This can only help our side.

Throw them some turkey for their efforts, even if it's only a couple bucks:

Rob Freedman
Doug Henk
Mike Kisler
Hiram Wurf (a fellow blogger)