Speculation on Democrats’ Motivation for County Board Chairman/Vice Chairman Votes

As reported Monday, the three Democrats now on the McHenry County Board split their votes for board chairman.

Jim Kennedy and Paula Yensen–the two from Lake in the Hills’ District 5–voted for Crystal Laker Ken Koehler, who represents District 2.

McHenry County Democratic Party Chair Kathy Bergan Schmidt, the one from north of Crystal Lake in District 3, voted for District 3′s Barb Wheeler.

Pardon me if I look at this from a crass political viewpoint. But we are talking politics here, aren’t we?

The motivation to vote for Koehler could be as simple as wanting to be on the winning team.

With a vote spread of 16-6-2, I would think that virtually everyone voting would have known that Koehler was going to win.

Indeed, runner-up Barb Wheeler referred to herself as “the lamb being led to slaughter.”

So, Kennedy and Yensen could well have just been positioning themselves to get favorable committee assignments.

Or, they could have figured out that a number of Crystal Lake precincts are in their district and figured that Koehler and his allies might be less likely to actively oppose their re-election, if they supported him for county board chairman.

Schmidt, whose address is Crystal Lake and whose District 3 goes well into Crystal Lake—all the way south to Crystal Lake Avenue—could have used the same logic.

But she didn’t.

She decided to support her fellow District 3 Republican. Maybe the data base that Wheeler’s brother, Dr. Tom Salvi, developed in his almost successful 2000 run against State Representative Jack Franks, convinced her it was better to antagonize Koehler than Wheeler.

As the headline says, this is “speculation.”

Where does your train of thought take you?

As for vice chairman, all three of the Democrats were unified. They supported McHenry’s Sandra Salgado over the winner, Crystal Lake’s Jim Heisler.

Did they want to show support for a woman?

Did they realize that Heisler, much like Abraham Lincoln, was such a good guy that he wouldn’t retaliate?

Or have they figured out that Heisler is more into government than politics?

= = = = =
The top photo shows Democratic McHenry County Board member Jim Kennedy making a point. Behind him you can see Marc Munaretto. Newly-elected Democrat Paula Yensen is seen waving her thanks to fellow McHenry County Democratic Central Committee members who voted in caucus last February to nominate her to run for county board. [The commenter below notes that Yensen was on the primary ballot. My mistake. She was waving to her fellow precinct committeemen after being introduced.]

Below them, McHenry County Democratic Party Chair Kathy Bergan Schmidt is seen on the left and Barb Wheeler on the right. Both serve on the county board from District 3.

At the bottom, Jim Heisler is seen to the left of Sandy Salgado.


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