In a stunning decision, the committee of Republican Party leaders charged by law with selecting a replacement for State Rep. Mark Beaubien have selected the head of House Republican Leader Tom Cross’ Appropriations Committee staff.
The choice is Lake County resident Kent Gaffney.
Gaffney, who lives in a gated subdivision called Tall Grass in Lake Barrington, beat out the likes of
- Bonnie Carter, a Lake County Board member
- Michael Carbone, Grayslake School District 46 board member
- Karen Darch, Barrington Village President
- John Dawson, who ran in the 2010 8th Congressional District GOP primary
- Chris Geissler, who ran in the 2010 8th Congressional District GOP primary
- Robert Hanaford, former village board member in Fox River Grove
- Nick Sauer, Barrington School District 220 School Board member
- Glenda Swanson, head of Wauconda Township Republicans
Probably others as well, who did not make it to my radar screen.
My political instincts tell me Gaffney will have a primary challenge.
To the best of my knowledge, there was no McHenry County applicant for the post despite about 60% of the voters in the newly-configured district being from McHenry County.
There were those with McHenry Country connections, however. Bob Hanaford served as Fox River Grove Village Trustee. I understand that Chris Geissler graduated from Cary-Grove High School.
The Daily Herald, which seems to have been given the scoop on this story, reports that Dee Beaubien, the late Representative’s wife, approves of the choice. Beaubien used to be the budget point guy for Cross. (Interestingly, the Daily Herald is not listing the article on its McHenry County page.)
The selection was made a Doc’s Bar and Grill in Wauconda on Thursday night.
Word is that Lake County Republican Bob Cook did not support the selection of Gaffney, but is saying nice things in the Daily Herald article.
“I’m disappointed. In typical Illinois fashion, the job went to a political insider,” State Senator Dan Duffy, half of whose district is Gaffney’s 51st, observed. “If the Republican Party would ever like to be relevant in Illinois, their leaders must start making better decisions.”
McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Mike Tryon could not be reached for comment.
Gaffney’s press release is below:
Gaffney Named to Succeed Beaubien as State Rep.
Barrington, IL….On Thursday night the 52nd Republican Representatives Committee elected Kent Gaffney of Lake Barrington to fill the vacancy for State Representative of the 52nd District left by the sudden death of Mark Beaubien Jr. earlier this month.
“I am deeply humbled by the Committee’s election of me to the late Rep. Mark Beaubien’s seat. I worked closely with Mark in both his district office and in Springfield in my position on the House Republican staff as Budget Director,” said Gaffney. “I learned a great deal from Mark over the years and will always be grateful to him and his wife, Dee, for their friendship.”
“I am excited about the new challenge and am anxious to continue meeting with local leaders and residents of the 52nd district to hear your suggestions and concerns,” said Gaffney. “
“It is truly an honor to have been selected to follow in the footsteps of my friend, Mark Beaubien. And you can be assured that I will work very hard to represent our families and our communities in Springfield ,” Gaffney concluded.
Kent and his wife Elizabeth have been married 13 years. Together, they are raising two sons in Lake Barrington . Gaffney has work on the House Republican staff for over a decade as Budget Director.