An astute political observer noted that Republican Precinct Committee have more power being thrust in their hands at Saturday’s 9 AM meeting of the GOP Central Committee than they have ever had before.
Indeed, in times past, Precinct Committee have been asked to and have endorsed candidates for statewide public office, but the endorsements, but those endorsements had as much influence as all the elected officials who individually endorsed appointed State Rep. Kent Gaffney in the spring primary election.
There have been times when Central Committee members have nominated fall candidates for McHenry County Regional Superintendent of Schools.
This happened with Leslie Schermerhorn last month.
But she was the only candidate who met the qualifications.
I remember its happening once before with the same office.
There were actually two qualified candidates desiring the nomination, but the Establishment candidate easily won.
Saturday, Precinct Committeemen will have the chance to select two “63rd District Representative Committeemen,” who, if the Committeemen who called the meeting have their way, will then nominate Tonya Franklin to run for State Representative against “Chainsaw Jack” Franks, a Democrat who has had no GOP opposition for two out of the last three elections.
Getting the nomination, however, is not enough to get Franklin on the ballot.
She and supporters will have to get 500 “good” signatures in less than two days, because the signatures and other paperwork have to be delivered in Springfield by Monday afternoon.
So, it’s a long shot, but, if she doesn’t succeed, McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Bill LeFew in 2006 and Mike Tryon in 2008 and 2012 will have managed to leave the office vacant on the ballot three out of four election cycles.
No candidate recruited. (In 2010, McHenry Grade School and Library Board member John O’Neill pretty much decided to run on his own. There wasn’t an overwhelming amount of support for his candidacy.)
There could just be another empowering meeting for GOP Committeemen this summer.
Sheriff Keith Nygren could still decide to retire.
If he does so by some day I can’t remember in July, the Central Committee would be tasked with slating a candidate in the fall election.