Now McHenry Grade School Board and Library Board member John O’Neill has stepped forward. O’Neill won the District 15 school board race, even though his family home schools. The family has lots of photogenic children.
Many might consider him a sacrificial lamb.
Others might think that he is staking out the territory in anticipation for Franks’ abandoning the State House for a candidacy for Congress in a newly-drawn 2012 district.
O’Neill has been active in the Republican Party, being elected a precinct committeeman the year all statewide Republicans lost. In 2008, he was recruiting walkers for McHenry’s Fiesta Days Parade. He attended the state GOP convention.
O’Neill also was one of the organizers of the demonstration on Route 47 in Woodstock in front of Jack Franks’ legislative office in March. Protesters objected to Franks’ position on abortion and gun control.
O’Neill wrote Franks “had given me the tired old line that,
‘I personally oppose abortion but I support a woman’s right to choose.’”
The ad below appeared in the Northwest Herald:
While always having described himself as “pro-choice,” Franks had a fairly conservative voting record on the issue in his early days. He infuriated pro-lifers statewide, however, by blocking the advancement of a “CHOOSE Life” license plate in the committee he chairs.
To understand why pro-lifers were enraged, take a look at the specialty license plates Illinois allows on the right hand side of the Sun-Times article above:
- Illinois & Michigan Canal
- Sheet Metal Workers
- Agriculture in the Classroom
- Illinois Route 66
- Master Mason
Previously, it appeared that Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager was preparing to run for the office. He, however, is a strong enough supporter of Franks that he was listed as a sponsor on Franks’ 12th Annual Breakfast Fundraiser October 3rd. Sager also would qualify as a liberal Republican, while O’Neill fits into the conservative mold. Sager retired in July from McHenry County College, his last position being Interim President after Walt Packard was forced from the post, albeit with the biggest governmental golden parachute that has been seen locally.
Below is the email that popped into my computer:
For the past couple of election cycles here in McHenry County as well as our Nation, we have seen our political opponents gaining momentum. In some cases we have not even fielded a conservative candidate for office. I would like to reverse that trend.
I will be seeking the Republican nomination for Representative in the General Assembly for the 63rd District.
Since this is an 11th hour decision, based in part on the fact that nobody else in McHenry has stepped-up, I am seeking your help. Attached is a copy of the primary petition, we need to have a minimum of 500 signatures collected which need to be submitted to the Illinois Board of Elections during the week of of October 26.
I am asking you to get involved and help me collect these signatures. I have also included an instructional sheet explaining the general requirements for both the petition Circulator and Signer.
The petition sheets may be printed in multiple or copied and the Circulator needs to have them notarized in order to be valid. Please do not number the sheets; we will do that once they have all been returned.
I would like to have all of the petiton sheets returned by Monday, October 26 so I may prepare the packets for submission. Petition sheets without the full 10 signature lines completed are valid as long as they are notarized.
Please call or email if you have any questions.
I sincerely appreciate your help.