Let’s assume that the McHenry Township abolition referendum does not pass.
Let’s further observe that the Nunda Township abolition peitition is irrelevant since it would not take effect for fifteen years.
Let’s note that if anyone is passing petitions to abolish Algonquin, Dorr or Grafton Townships, they are being so quiet about it that word has not reached any media.
What focus on those five towsnips?
The reason is that because each has a population of more than 5,000 people, party central committees decide who the candidates for each will be.
Back in the 1970’s Algonquin Township Assessor Forrest B. Hare lost a Republican re-election nominating caucus by so few votes that the election judges could not be sure of the count.
The Algonquin Township Republican Party would not allow a recount.
That was the Central Committee’s right, since it set the rules for the partisan caucus.
Hare then ran a successful write-in campaign (which would not be legal now).
The fight was pretty brutal with State Senator Jack Schaffer’s faction competing against the one alligned with my father.
Mal Bellairs bashed the party pretty much every day on his WIVS radio program.
After Hare beat the Establishment, Schaffer approached me in the Sente chambers and observed that we had to make sure such a fight did not happen again.
The result was giving parties in townships over 5,000 people the ability to hold a primary election, rather than a caucus.
Recounts, of course, are possible in a government-sponsored election.
The bill passed and, ever since, Algonquin Township’s Republican Central Committee has decided to hold a primaryj, rather than a caucus.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the institutional memory of the reason for holding a primary for over forty years is pretty much lost.
At the last two organization meetings, I brought up the motion to hold a primary.
There were those who pointed out it would cost the taxpayers money.
Nevertheless, the motions passed.
I have decided not to run for re-election as GOP Precinct Committeeman in Algonquin 7, so I will no longer have a say in whether those elected in 2020 decide to hold a1 primary or a causus.
Because of the way the McHenry Township Republican Central Committee ran their causus before the last township elections, State Senator Pam Althoff passed legislation requiring future caucuses to be on a one-person attending, one vote basis.
McHenry Township allowed everyone to vote, but gave Precinct Committeemen the votes of everyone in their precinct who did not show up in person.
When the incumbents were not nominated by the caucus, there was an uproar.
The incumbents, elected or appointed as Republicans (except for Democrat Assessor Mary Mahady), no longer controlled a majority on the Central Committee.
That faction took back control in 2018.
Republican Parties in Grafton and Nunda Townships have recently held primary elections to select candidates,
Dorr Township has certainly held candidate selection caucuses. I do not know if they have every held a primary.
So, let me get to thme reason for the headline.
If one wanted to run for township office in any of the five largest townships in McHenry County and thought one could muster the warm bodies to control a caucus, one would be trying to convince allies to run for Republican Precinct Committeeperson (the legislature changed the title).
Caucuses obviously cost less money for prospective township officials than primaries, even if the are less democratic.
If you want to run, the petition and statement of candidacy can be found here.
The petition appears below:
I suggest getting 20 signatures. Each page must be numbered and the bottom part notarized. Do not sign the bottom except in front of a notary.
Sraple the Statement of Candidacy (found here), which also must be signed in front of a notary, together, and take the package to the County Clerk’s Office.
If there turns out to be a hot contest for control in any township, I think it best to file as late on the last day as possible.
Filing earlier might inspire the other side to recruit someone to run against you.