How the McHenry County Bar Association Suit Helped Elect Me State Representative

On the long, torturous way to a point about Huntley School Board President Shawn Green’s interpretation of a prerequisite to suing school district employees for money that they should not have received, I have gotten into my memory’s cul-de-sac.

The last two days I have delved into how the McHenry County Board illegally accumulated enough money to build the new courthouse and how the McHenry County Bar Association sued me for practicing law without a license for helping people pay their property taxes under protest after my term as McHenry County Treasurer was over.

Today’s story is about some of the upsides to the experience.

I ran for state representative, filing for office only a couple of months after I lost the suit. The news and column coverage of a former county treasurer being sued for practicing law without a license kept my name before the public.

After I announced, nemesis McHenry County State’s Attorney Bill Cowlin told Elgin Courier-News reporter Marian Gallery that electing me in the Illinois House would be “like putting the fox in the chicken coop.”

I remember one Wonder Lake woman sending me a $15 contribution with a drawing of a fox and a note saying, “Anyone the lawyers don’t like can’t be all bad.”

I taped it to the wall during the campaign. I wish I still had it.

In any event, I beat both incumbents in the 5-man Republican primary election in 1972, coming in first in the cumulative vote balloting.

I guess I must have gotten a lot of what were called “bullet” votes. People had three votes in the three-member districts and could cast one for three candidates, 1½ for two candidates or three for one candidate. Get more that 25% of the vote and you got elected.

Tomorrow…finally…the point I want to make about Huntley School Board President Shawn Green’s comments in last Thursday’s Daily Herald.

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