You’re Republican House Leader.
One of your close allies dies.
One of your long-time staffers, who has worked on political campaigns across the state, has moved to the area three years or so ago.
He’s caught the political bug.
He spends so much time in Springfield and commuting that he hasn’t gotten deeply involved in the community, however.
You lean on the local Republican Party Chairman, State Rep. Mike Tryon, in this instance, who controls not quite a majority of the votes needed to name your assistant, Kent Gaffney, to replace your friend Mark Beaubien.
Tryon pulls it off.
So your former assistant is now a State Representative running with all the resources of his new office and your political staff for election.
Up pops a millionaire named Dave McSweeney.
He has had the political bug since before meeting President Ronald Reagan. He’s run for Congress twice after serving on the Palatine Township Board.
He really, really wants to win.
And he is not only capable of writing a $100,000 check (and smart enough to keep his contributions under that threshold, so all campaign limits will be lifted for his opponents), but also capable of tapping corporations for the now-maximum donation of $10,000 and individuals for $5,000.
And, he can convince the former GOP Presidential candidate John McCain to come help him raise funds…which he does.
Then, this conservative, endorsed by all the Pro-Life groups, beats your guy, the moderate, even as he is being attacked from the right by a Tea Party candidate (Danielle Rowe) saying he is a squish because he backed McCain.
So, there will be a new State Representative named David McSweeney, who will be in office as long as he wants to be.
And, he has no reason to have good will toward his Republican Leader Tom Cross, who threw everything he had behind his man, Kent Gaffney.
It’s going to be an interesting adjustment period, wouldn’t you say?