Several comments have been posted wanting to know if the 14th district congressional candidates running for elective public office for the first time have ever voted in a Republican primary election.
Most recently, yesterday’s announcement by Warrenville resident Jerry Evans to run for Congress prompted those comments.
And by “primary election”, this means the biennial general primary election held in even-numbered years. Township Republican primaries and/or Republican caucus is not applicable to this discussion.
It’s not an unfair question, and the proactive candidate would initiate the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) form and have the election authority(ies) pull this information and post it on their campaign websites and/or Facebook pages.
There are 8 candidates who’ve announced they will run for Congress next year. Five of them have, to our knowledge, never run for elective public office. So let’s go through all 8 candidates, and short of a primary voting record, determine what they’ve done to-date for the GOP:
- Jim Oberweis
- On the Republican primary ballot 7 of the previous 9 election cycles going back to the turn-of-the-century
- 2-term Republican state senator 25th legislative district
- In 2010 when not on the ballot, was elected by precinct committeemen to the state central committeeman post for the 14th congressional district (2001 apportionment)
- Sue Rezin
- On the Republican primary ballot 4 of the past 5 election cycles for the Illinois General Assembly
- Won Illinois House seat, 3 terms as state senator as a Republican
- James Marter
- On the Republican primary ballot in previous 2 election cycles in unsuccessful bids for U.S. Senator and Congress
- Elected by precinct committeemen to be Kendall County Republican Party Chairman in 2016
Those were the easy ones. Now to the five newcomers in alphabetical order:
- Anthony Catella
- Elected Republican precinct committeeman in 2018 to St. Charles Township precinct in Kane County
- Moved back to Fox Valley in 2015 after nearly 5 years as a priest in Louisiana
- Jerry Evans
- Voting record unknown
- Resident of DuPage County, including attending college at Wheaton College for nearly 20 years
- Ted Gradel
- Gave $250 in 2014 to then Republican State Senator Michael Connelly
- Currently resident of Will County
- Catalina Lauf
- Employed by Citizens for Rauner from late January to mid November 2018
- Employed by the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Trump Administration from December of 2018 to mid 2019
- Woodstock resident from late 2018, and after Washington employment in mid 2019
- Lived in Chicago prior to fall of 2018, duration unknown
- Danny Malouf
- Grew up in Crystal Lake
- Lives in Woodstock
Suffice it to say, the individual campaigns will likely have collected the primary voting histories already when they purchased voting data from either the 7 county clerks within the 14th, or from the State Board of Elections.
So in other words, your opponents already have this information, and if you lived outside of the 7 counties in the district, I’m sure someone has done a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on your record, too. And if they haven’t, someone soon will.
Now how far back in time do the newcomers need to go to answer questions? Some think past two election cycles. Others think history going back to 2008 cycle (though Catalina Lauf did not turn 18 until 2011) should be shared.
Let’s leave it up to the candidates to determine self-disclosure.
Everyone should remember Illinois is an open primary state, and voter registration is not done by political party. There is no such thing as a “registered Republican” in Illinois. Voters registered have the individual freedom of choice to choose which established primary to cast a ballot during the general primary election, or to cast a nonpartisan ballot.
So may the candidates be forthcoming about their voting history and voluntarily share it. Because if the candidate doesn’t, one of your opponents or their supporters will likely share it for you.