In an eerie echo of the defeat of long-time McHenry Township Assessor Carol Perschke four years ago by Democrat Mary Mahady, 24-year Algonquin Township Road Commissioner Bob Miller was defeated by McHenry County Board member Andrew Gasser in Tuesday’s Republican Township Primary Election.
When she lost, Perschke was Chairman of the Illinois Property Assessment Institute the organization which conducts training courses for assessors.
News of Miller’s loss will have spread throughout township officials across Illinois.
Gasser’s campaign pounded on nepotism.
During the summer, the Algonquin Township Republican Central Committee passed a resolution opposing nepotism.
Miller responded in a statement defending nepotism read to the Precinct Committeeman before the vote.
The campaign included an anti-nepotism entry in the Algonquin Founders Day Parade.
Literature was printed and distributed in some precincts.
This was the second defeat of a member of the Miller family based on the issue of nepotism.
In the 2016 GOP Primary, long-time McHenry County Board member Anna May Miller (Chairman of the County Board’s Transportation Committee) lost after being attacked on the issue.
“Miller Time Is Over” was the tag line.
Also in play in the election, although mainly on stickers on the front page of the Northwest Herald, was township consolidation.
Miller led the successful fight against holding a referendum to determine whether townships should be consolidated.
Gasser’s victory margin was 145 votes, showing the closeness of the strength of the two GOP factions in Algonquin Township.
During the campaign there were not complaints about the service provided by Miller.
There were complaints, however, that the Road District could be run more economically.
As a shield on this issue, Miller cut his tax levy 10% shortly before the campaign began.
This race undoubted saw the most money spent.
While spending won’t be made public until April, the amount in bank accounts at the first of the year, plus contributions of $1,000 or more are public information.
Miller had almost $49,000 available on January 1st. His Political Action Committee had more money than any other local politician. He picked up an additional $3,000, plus the cost of the negative mailing that came from an untraceable pop-up PAC on the day before the election.
Gasser started with $5,600, but garnered $17,625 in donations of $1,000 or more, plus
- the cost of at least two stickers on the front page of the Northwest Herald (the one above) finance by McHenry County GOPAC, and
- an attack piece against Miller from Liberty PAC
One final thought comes to mind.
This election marked the end of the Miller dynasty.
It started in the 1960’s with Bob Miller’s grandfather Julian Dvorak.
He was elected as a reformer I believe. The previous Road Commissioner had not been willing to put the township logo on his private truck.
I remember his refusing to agree to vacate Three Oaks Road when Vulcan Materials wanted to mine under it.
I don’t remember who made a deal with Vulcan, but I’m told that the traffic count on Route 14 went up 10% the day after Three Oaks Road was closed.
When Dvorak died, his son-in-law, Bob’s father Del Miller, took over.
When Del Miller died, the Algonquin Township Board appointed Bob Miller to replace him.