I received a press release from Congressman Randy Hultgren Monday that raised my eyebrows.
It was entitled,
Hultgren: Illinois Is Quickly Nearing The Point Of Fiscal No Return
Nothing startling about the subject.
After all, the Civic Federation issued a “Worst. News. Ever.” to put in the words of Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax.
Let’s speculate about what was behind the press release.
Note that the last part of Hultgren’s press release reads,
“Rep. Hultgren previously served for twelve years in the General Assembly, where he fought for government accountability, lower taxes, and less spending.”
So why is a Congressman weighing in on state politics?
Hultgren isn’t saying, as some Congressmen did during the income tax hike fight, “Don’t expect a Federal bailout.”
He’s telling the General Assembly to get crackin’.
But, maybe Hultgren is delivering a different message.
Maybe he is signaling that he is considering running for statewide office?
Would that be a step up from being in Congress?
Statewide officials don’t have to wait decades to advance up the seniority ladder.
Especially, if one is Governor.
So, might Randy Hultgren be thinking about running for statewide office?
Maybe even in 2014?
By then, he will have the solid contacts he made on the DuPage County Board, as State Representative and State Senator.
He will be representing those GOP primary vote rich counties of DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.
The district Hultgren now represents goes almost all the way to the Mississippi River.
It contains all or parts of
- Bureau County
- DeKalb County
- DuPage County
- Henry County
- Kane County
- Kendall County
- Lee County
Add in the contacts that Jerry Clarke, Hultgren’s Chief-of-Staff have in Congressman Tim Johnson’s district, where he used to be Chief-of-Staff, and Central and Southeastern Illinois is more than fair game for a statewide run.
And that’s not even mentioning the state rep. races that Clarke had a lot of influence in running when he was the chief political aid for House Minority Leader Lee Daniels.
In short, Hultgren and his staff have contracts all over Illinois, including some in Cook County.
My conclusion: Randy Hultgren would be a formidable statewide candidate.