Conservative Groups Urge Allen Skillicorn to Challenge Lauren Underwood

From Family PAC, Illinois Family Action and Lake County Right to Life:


Conservative Groups Urge Allen Skillicorn to Challenge Lauren Underwood — 13 Comments

  1. Let’s not be too quick to think Congresswoman Underwood will be a one-termer. Underwood is battle-tested, focused on her district including holding town hall meetings, and is an incredibly disciplined campaigner.

    So Paul Caprio and company are trying to get State Representative Allen Skillicorn to run? Frankly, he’s already running for this district, though he’s made no announcement and has yet to form a Federal committee that would enable him to raise money under Federal rules (and those same FEC rules prohibit transferring his state campaign account to a Federal race). Caprio’s group are not the only high-profile local conservatives urging a Skillicorn candidacy. Former State Senator Steve Rauschenberger, who served in the state senate from 1993 to 2007, has openly endorsed Skillicorn’s prospective congressional bid, too (

    Let’s also look at a few things Caprio and Rauschenberger left out.

    Skillicorn does not live in the 14th congressional district, he lives in the 8th congressional district. And while it is legal for Skillicorn to pursue the 14th, there are many primary and general election voters who do not care for “carpetbaggers”. Skillicorn backed the Libertarian candidate for governor in last year’s election, and not the top of the Republican ticket. While Rauner was a terrible governor, you don’t like your running mate, you express your displeasure quietly in the privacy of the voting booth on Election Day, not in press releases broadcasting it. Primary voters will not like that, either.

    And finally, I am waiting for someone to tell me Skillicorn’s real accomplishments, either as an East Dundee (population less than 3000) village trustee or as a state representative. Yes, he casts votes against Democrats’ terrible legislation like any Republican could do, but what major legislation has he initiated AND passed through the General Assembly and became law?

    And let’s not forget, the Republican leadership of both Kane and McHenry Counties passed over Skillicorn in last summer’s selection of a replacement for State Senator Karen McConnaughay when she dropped out of her re-election bid and resigned early–and Skillicorn had already beaten the Democratic nominee for that senate seat in his initial election in 2016. That field for the appointment included the guy who was selected, State Senator Don DeWitte, as well as retiring State Representative Steve Andersson, McHenry County Board Member (and previous Skillicorn opponent) Carolyn Schofield, then-Deputy (now appointed) State Central Committeewoman for the 14th district Laura Pollastrini, and a retired fire fighter whose name I forgot. In a field of strong candidates, Skillicorn could not win, and Skillicorn was a recent Vice Chairman of the Kane County Republican Party, too.

    But ultimately, Skillicorn’s downfall in a 14th congressional district primary will be money, or the lack of it. As Beekeeper said above, State Senator Jim Oberweis has the dough. Even with Skillicorn running, Oberweis could buy the primary unless another strong candidate emerges who has significant personal wealth or can raise millions in cash. Rauschenberger is one who knows what a lack of money can do to doom your career, since that is why he never went beyond the state senate in 2004 U.S. Senate primary and 2006 governor-lieutenant governor primary (Rauschenberger had to become the running mate of a moderate who had money).

    So among the other announced and prospective Republican candidates, who has the best chance to defeat Congresswoman Underwood in 2020?

    Jim Oberweis, too unelectable and too old (74 in fall 2020) though he could buy the primary.

    Matt Quigley, was the best hope, but is now out of it.

    Danny Malouf, heart’s in right place, but just can’t do it.

    Anthony Catella, while honorable serving our country in the Army, has done nothing since his March announcement.

    Jim Marter, carpetbagging challenger to Congressman Kinzinger last year, and only raised $60K? Fundraising will doom his campaign.

    State Senator Sue Rezin, she’d be carpetbagging too, but being the only woman (thus far) contemplating this race will give Oberweis and Skillicorn a run for their money, and could very well win the primary. She’s a phenomenal fundraiser, and she had over $335,000 in her state senate campaign fund at the end of last month. Both her and State Senator Jim Oberweis have updated the National Republican Congressional Committee on their respective progress for the 2020 election, so she has made the trip to Washington to update Republicans her prospective candidacy.

    And here is a closing thought for what the Republican nominee for the 14th will be up against in 2020 against Underwood. The response by Congresswoman Underwood to the Aurora shootings back in February, and her hands-on compassion for the victims of the shooting, four of whom lived in her district, do not be surprised come October of 2020 that the survivors of those victims’ families cut Re-elect Lauren Underwood commercials giving their testimonies how Underwood was not distracted by politics and cared for the victims and their families, and pushing for sensible, enforceable gun laws to prevent tragedies like Aurora 2019 from happening again.

    That is a sample of what’s coming for the Republicans to win back the 14th.

  2. “Doesn’t live in district”

    This from the lady who lived in her parents home so she would be “in district”??

    I’ll rent Allen a room very cheaply, and I’m in district!!

    “real accomplishments”

    And she had any other than being appointed to a slot by O?

    “passed over”

    By the same people who hoisted Steve “Madigan’s vest buddy” Andersson on us??

    That isn’t exactly a bad thing….

    Oberweis has had his time come and go.

    I doubt he can buy the primary

  3. Listen to Quigley Supporter.

    The only thing I disagree with is the take on Rezin.

    Being a carpetbagger isn’t a good look for anyone — perhaps she’s better than most the others but still not good.

    So far the field and even rumored candidates are weak.

    Waiting to see if Karen M or Jen Nevins get into the race, but not sure they’d even be good picks either — perhaps better than Skillicorn or Oberweis.

    Are there any potential candidates that commenters on this blog are keeping an eye on or hoping will run?

    The first criteria should be living in the district.

    If you can’t do that, your candidacy is DOA.

    There are many things one would like in a candidate including ability to raise money, knowledge of the issues, accomplishments in business or politics, name recognition, lack of skeletons in closet, ability to unite the party, and ability to win independents, among others.

    You won’t get a perfect candidate, but at least get a candidate who lives in the district and is ok in some of these areas.

    Right now this is such a poor field.

    No way Republicans get that seat back from Lauren with this field.

    They’re punching well above their weight.

  4. Demographics and statistics are for the educated liberal elite like Underwood.

    Ill trust my gut just fine and go with Allen and his hair ramp to rile the libs!

  5. Thank you for the props, An American. Reading SlickLou’s comment, for a second, I felt like I was Rhett Butler’s character in Gone with the Wind, at the Wilkes’ party where the men were talking while the women were taking their naps. Being asked to talk about what the South would be up against when War does come against the North, in the days after Ft. Sumter. Butler told the truth about the North being better equipped for war, and it was not popular, but it was the truth.

    Concerning some of the names An American suggested. Karen McConnaughay lives in the 6th congressional district. Her name surfaced as a possible challenger to Congressman Casten earlier this year in Crain’s Chicago Business in a March 20th article. An update to the article was quickly posted online where Ms. McConnaughay called-in to Crain’s, and said while she had been approached about running, “…she’s not interested.”

    As for Jen Nevins, I do not know much about her, apart from her being elected an alternate convention delegate for then-candidate Donald Trump in 2016. She does live in the 14th district, but apart from her regular articles on Illinois Review, I do not know if she is even considering a congressional bid in next year’s election.

    As for other notable potential candidates, former Congressman Joe Walsh, who at one time in the past 10 years lived in McHenry County outside of Algonquin Township, could be a possibility. After his family’s move to Lake County, I’m not sure which congressional district he lives in now (and they are all represented by Democrats), and he has the benefit of having served in Congress for 1 term. I think he’s got it too good right now as a radio talk show host, so I do not see Walsh running for Congress again.

    Kane County Board Chairman (and former State Senator) Chris Lauzen? I believe he lives in the 11th congressional district. Lauzen is doing lights-out in his current job (six-year flat tax levy, Longmeadow Parkway Bridge is being built, 65 percent debt reduction, new court case management system, absorbing the Aurora Election Commission). He turned 67 at the end of last year, and running for Congress will require him to give up the Kane County board chairman’s job. He’ll stay where he is.

    McHenry County Board Member (and former State Senator) Pam Althoff? She’ll be 66 at the end of this year and through the 2020 elections. She does live in-district, but I’m guessing she will challenge Jack Franks for the McHenry County Board chairmanship next year, which is why she’s on the county board now.

    Something Pat C. said, could Allen Skillicorn move within his state representative district from his current East Dundee home to a home in the Grafton Township portion of his representative district, which would be in the 14th congressional district? He could, either through renting or buying a home in Grafton Township portion of Algonquin, Lake in the Hills or Huntley. Then it would simply mean registering to vote in McHenry County, and cancelling his registration in Kane County.

    I’m sure the “carpetbagger” label is something Skillicorn wants to avoid, and his moving to Grafton Township within his current state representative district will remove that potential challenge. We’ll have to wait and see what he does. Him and his wife do not have children, so it’s not like he’s uprooting his family, just him and his wife.

    So looks like right now, the major front-tier Republican candidates for 14th congressional district are Jim Oberweis, Allen Skillicorn and Sue Rezin, and the other people make up the second-tier.

  6. The republirats’ passing over skillacorn is a plus!

  7. What about Aaron Schock? I hear he’s looking to make a comeback. He’s really the quintessential Republican in oh so many ways.

  8. Pat C., that group of party leaders did a very transparent and responsible job interviewing and vetting all of the state senate hopefuls who applied for the McConnaughay vacancy last summer. They thoroughly dismantled Carolyn Schofield’s claim to be a fiscal conservative by citing several of her votes on the Crystal Lake City Council and the McHenry County Board. These people did their homework. Her response to the vetting by saying people were not concerned about taxes back then was laughable. This group saw through her. Sounds consistent with Republican primary voters and their decision to deny her the Republican nomination for the 66th House district, which was won by Allen Skillicorn in 2016.

    This same group of leaders was unimpressed with Laura Pollastrini, who is now the Republican State Central Committeeman for the 14th district, too. They also knew Steve Andersson was not up for a tough race in a tough General Election campaign against Nancy Zettler.

    Oh, and the guy who did get the appointment, Don DeWitte, nearly torpedoed his chances with a stupid answer to a very serious question. The party leaders who conducted these interviews really meant business.

    Skillicorn’s problem is he is outspoken about his thoughts about fellow Republicans. He was not the first to take this approach. Remember when then-State Senator Chris Lauzen so outraged the Republican establishment that they, led by Denny Hastert, worked with Jim Oberweis in an elaborate attempt to completely drive Lauzen out of Illinois politics completely, back in 2008?

    Lauzen took a humiliating defeat at the hands of Oberweis in the 2008 Republican primaries for Congress. But fortunately, he got over that crushing nasty loss, won re-election to the Illinois senate in 2010, and then won election to Kane County Board chairman in 2012. The highlights I cited above are the results.

    Is Skillicorn another Lauzen? It’s too soon to tell. We will find out next year.

    As for Aaron Schock attempting a comeback next year in the 14th? It’s legal for him to try. Assuming he’s completely honored the plea deal that got the 24-count federal indictment settled, if his former campaign donors are willing to trust him with their donations again, it’s his right to do so. My guess is Schock will stay out of it, simply because it’s too soon.

  9. **Don DeWitte, nearly torpedoed his chances with a stupid answer to a very serious question.**

    Do share.

  10. My source for how the appointment process went is Jeff Ward’s blog, The First Ward. The article with the details is here:

    Mr. Ward, based out of Geneva is a former journalist, locally with the then-Copley owned newspaper Aurora Beacon-News, is an interesting combination of a fiscal hawk and a social liberal. That said, his assessments, both positive and negative, of everyone, is usually fair. His language can be a little crass, but all in all, he’s very knowledgeable, particularly on local politics. Ward was the radio show host Allen Skillicorn co-hosted with from 2012 to early 2014.

    Check out the above link, and you will see the Don DeWitte answer that nearly cost him the appointment.

  11. Allen Skillicorn is at it again:

    The latest town hall/rally on April 29th is in Huntley, within the 14th congressional district. Coincidentally, Skillicorn’s got a Town Hall meeting scheduled in Huntley for this Saturday, too. This blatant grandstanding for his likely congressional bid is more transparent than Oberweis Dairy running TV ads promoting their dairy during the holidays and just before an election (and yes, Oberweis will do another TV ad buy through his dairy, though one of Oberweis’ sons runs the dairy now, Jim Oberweis still owns it).

    In that article link, Skillicorn cited his opposition to the plastic bag tax. Skillicorn even filed House Resolution 156 opposing the bag tax, which has been sitting in committee collecting dust since March 21st. And what did one of the communities within Allen Skillicorn’s district do on April 2nd? The Village of Algonquin unanimously passed a resolution SUPPORTING the bag tax.

    I hope Skillicorn sees that the Algonquin village trustees (President Schmitt, who lives in Skillicorn’s district, was absent from that meeting) delivered him a slap to his face by supporting Governor Pritzker and the Democrats in spite of HR 156.

    And Skillicorn was completely MIA when Algonquin was planning to do their resolution. Not even a tweet, let alone, appearing before the Algonquin village board to fight their resolution and convince the trustees why the plastic bag tax is bad. If you cannot convince a village board within your district not to do a bad thing as a state representative, how will Skillicorn do in Congress?

    Algonquin’s resolution passing supporting the plastic bag tax just shows how at least one community feels about Skillicorn’s current role as state representative, let alone his congressional ambitions.

  12. I remember when all sorts of municipal boards in my legislative district endorsed the RTA referendum.

    We legislators had a much bdtter handle on public opinion as evidenced in the 93% “No” vote in McHenry County.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *