Clearly State Rep. Jack Franks is ready for a new challenge.
He’s been the first Democratic legislator elected from McHenry County since single-member districts came into being. (Under the 3-member proportional representation system, McHenry County had two Republicans and one Democrat, the last two being Tom Hanahan of Johnsburg and Billy Giblin of the Marengo area.)
Right before the mid-year campaign disclosure deadline in 2009, he, his family and high-rolling friends put hundreds of thousands of dollars into his account. A substantial amount has been returned, but a substantial amount remains ($451,934.39 as of the end of 2011).
That’s enough to run a statewide campaign and maybe he has mollified the pro-abortion and homosexual rights lobbies enough to win a contested statewide primary, but I doubt it.
He could have been a Federal judge by now, if he had backed Barack Obama for President, instead of Hillary Clinton.
And, I’m sure he thought about running for Congress, but Mike Madigan, not a big fan, did not put all of McHenry County in one congressional district.
Now come Kevin Craver of the Northwest Herald with an article about Franks’ having introduced a bill to force the at-large election of the McHenry and Lake County Boards.
That drew the ire of Lake County’s Republican Board Chairman David Stolman and I imagine it wasn’t met with too much enthusiasm from among those in McHenry County who don’t want power concentrated anymore than it already is.
This is not the first time that Franks has moved in the direction of electing the Chairman of the McHenry County Board. Early last decade, he passed a bill that would allow a vote, advisory, if memory serves me correctly, but petitions would have to be passed first.
Franks, who basically keeps arms-length from the Democratic Party locally, didn’t bother to stir up his troops to get the signatures.
Easier just to pass a new bill mandating an at-large election for the top County Board spot.
And, that might be a spot for Jack Franks, just as it was for a Democratic Party State Senator in Will County.
The salary would be as good or better than for State Representative and the long, long commute would be at an end.
But there would be a constant war between a Legislative Branch controlled by Republicans and an Executive Branch controlled by a Democrat.
Actually, that would be so much fun to watch, I might be talking myself into favoring Franks’ idea.