IL-14: First Debate Takes on Added Urgency to Derail Jim Oberweis Winning Nomination

Jim Oberweis

14th Congressional District Candidates Forum


6:45PM – 9:00PM

McHenry County College

Luecht Auditorium

Overshadowed by the start of the Senate Impeachment Trial of President Trump and the growing inevitability of Jim Oberweis running away with the Republican nomination, can any of the other six challengers in the Republican primary field step up to be THE one and only alternative to Jim Oberweis?

Hosted by the McHenry County Republican Party, the 14th district-only scheduled debate (thus far) will be the McHenry County forum to see if Jerry Evans, Ted Gradel, Catalina Lauf, James Marter, Sue Rezin or Anthony Catella can meet the challenge and emerge from the rest of the pack to challenge Oberweis for the nomination.

Party leadership will release information/rules for video recording of the forum. At this point, it is not known if there will be local TV coverage, or live streaming or if video recordings from the audience will be permitted.

As details are finalized and become available, the information will be shared on the blog. The only detail that we know for certain is all seven campaigns have committed their candidate will participate on Wednesday night.

After Wednesday, the next known candidates forum will be in Batavia on January 30 hosted by the League of Women Voters, and their event will include state legislative candidates.

Given the Illinois General Assembly will be in session by then, it is unknown if State Senators Jim Oberweis or Sue Rezin will participate at the week from Thursday night Batavia event.


IL-14: First Debate Takes on Added Urgency to Derail Jim Oberweis Winning Nomination — 19 Comments

  1. I met Catalina Lauf last night.

    A strong, intelligent woman who has definite ideas and strategies to improve Illinois.

    She’s a breath of fresh air!

  2. CleosTruth, thank you for the insight.

    I’ve never met Ms. Lauf, she does have potential and hopefully, she will make some significant strides to stand out at the debate on Wednesday.

    The same is said about the other main candidates, Jerry Evans, Ted Gradel, James Marter, Sue Rezin.

    I have no expectation for Anthony Catella to distinguish himself positively to be competitive in the primary.

    Just think, two months from tonight, the primary campaign will be over but for the counting of the primary votes.

  3. LOL at the idea that Rezin and Oberweis wouldn’t be at the 30th debate because of session.

    1) it’s the last day of session of the first week of session. It will be over with plenty of time to spare.

    2) they’d most definitely leave session early if needed, unless they just wanted an excuse to not attend the debate.

  4. Alabama, Oberweis is far enough ahead that he does not need to share the stage with opponents.

    Do not be surprised if after Wednesday’s debate, Oberweis misses remaining debates, unless it is televised.

  5. Sure — but that’s an entirely different reason than it also being a session day.

    And do you know for sure the Oberweis is that much ahead?

    Have polling you can share?

    You don’t normally give your campaign $600k if you’re so far ahead that you can blow of debates.

    But, yes, I’d argue it would be in Oberweis’s interest to skip debates because he is very likely to come out worse than he went in.

  6. Nothing definitive I am at liberty to share, but given Oberweis’ name ID, and very limited mass marketing/advertising by his primary opponents, any poll taken now in mid January will show Oberweis ahead on name ID alone.

    I’ve been hearing a 20 point lead, but unclear whom the 20 point lead is over.

    Around this time, the Chicago Tribune will be taking its initial poll of the 14th district Republican primary, and other high profile contested primaries.

    But something to note, a 20 point lead is not the same as the 50 point lead his questionable poll results from the summer he released in September here on McHenry County Blog

    The candidates are doing polling, too, and Oberweis’ FEC filing listed polling being paid for in November.

    I’m sure the other campaigns are doing, or have done, polling, but we have no proof like we do with Oberweis’ FEC filing from this week.

    I think Oberweis’ $600K at the end of December is his attempt to put the primary away in time for early voting to begin on February 6, and proof is he did a TV ad buy with his “Overturn” commercial.

    No one has said if they’ve seen a Gradel commercial on TV.

    I didn’t see his football-theme during last weekend’s NFL playoff broadcasts during local/station breaks.

    We’ll see if his football ads air during the conference championship broadcasts on Sunday afternoon/evening.

    Rezin, Lauf and the other candidates have no commercials, yet.

    I’m sure at least Rezin and Lauf will have TV advertising, but in this race, if you’re not on TV, you’re not going to win.

    You are right about Oberweis skipping debates, and the other six candidates, in particular, Gradel, Rezin and Lauf, need to approach this debate as the last time they may face Oberweis on a public debate stage.

    Meaning, the gloves must be off on Wednesday, because they may never have another shot on the same stage.

    Joe Biden, in the Democratic presidential campaign, has been very effective selecting his audiences, like staying away from large “cattle call” appearances at state meetings/conventions throughout 2019.

    At the time, he could afford to get away from missing such appearances, and his competitors could not.

    He didn’t miss a televised debate, but he definitely missed large appearances back when there were nearly 2 dozen candidates running.

    In a much smaller way, Oberweis is in the Biden position, and as I said earlier, unless it’s a televised debate, Oberweis may not be on stage with his primary opponents again.

    Now, the editorial board interviews, which are usually recorded on video now, could prove very revealing, and will be watching for those video releases from the newspapers.

  7. Pretty sure I read that Laur was 1 t-shirt idea away from locking up the nomination.

    Now you’re telling me that there’s a person running with a 20 point lead that’s not Lauf?

    What about her 3M twitter followers???

    What about the parody Twitter account someone set up????

    And you’re telling me that you’ve never met her?

    Love this website.

  8. Don’t be more obtuse than you normally are, Oh. Go back and read articles since those articles you refer, and see what has changed.

    Hint: Go read Wednesday’s articles.

  9. Is there a forum/debate set for Sager vs Janko and/or SKillicorn vs Schofield?

    If so, please post the details.

  10. Know of none right now for state legislative forums for districts 63 (Sager/Janko) and 66 (Skillicorn/Schofield).

    Concerning the 66th, if it’s League of Women Voters, they usually place the Republicans and the Democrats on the same stage, so that would include Ness/Malone on the same stage.

  11. Thursday, January 23, 2020
    6:30-9pm McHenry County College
    8900 US Hwy 14
    Crystal Lake, IL 60012 Candidate Forum – State Representative Dist 63 & 66.

    (That’s Sager vs Janko and Skillicorn vs Schofield respectively.)

    I should have checked the website.

  12. So there are at least three debates scheduled for the 14th district.

    -The one that the Republicans are hosting on the 22nd.
    -The one in Batavia on the 30th.
    -There’s another one on February 6th hosted by MC LWV

    Thursday, February 6, 2020
    6:30-9pm McHenry County College
    8900 US Hwy 14
    Crystal Lake, IL 60012 Candidate Forum – Congressional Dist 6 & 14.

    I still say the one on the 22nd is most important. If there’s one you don’t want to miss, it’s that one.

  13. Alabama do you work for Franks directly on his payroll

    or do u get certain under the table benefits?

  14. Why the misleading headline?

    I agree that the one put on by the GOP is probably the one to see if you want more hardball questions.

    This headline makes it sound like the County GOP is trying to take Oberweis down.

    That’s not the case.

    They have not and will not endorse ANY Republican Candidate or play favorites.

  15. I agree with CleosTruth — Catalina is by far the stand out of this primary crowd.

    She is warm, smart and strong.

    Sue was not very friendly when I met her, Ted is a very nice man (would make a great Mayor) but doesn’t have the fight in him for a race like this, Jim O is total fake and James Marter is…idk how to describe.

  16. Correcting, there’s a Will County congressional debate in Bolingbrook on February 10.

    I believe it will be for both the 14th & 11th congressional districts, and is being put on by 3 Rwpublican township organizations of the Will County Republican Party.

  17. **JustaVet — Alabama do you work for Franks directly on his payroll or do u get certain under the table benefits?**

    LOL – neither. Good try though.

    I’m not paid by any campaigns/candidates and haven’t been for a while.

    But I truly am glad that you all so obsessed with me.

    But do tell.

    What, exactly, did I say on this thread – or anywhere else, for that matter – that would make you think that I was working for Jack Franks?

  18. Lopez, thanks for the heads up on the Will County one and thanks for reminding us about Malone and Ness in the 66th.

    I sometimes forget about them running given how much more exciting the Republican primary is.

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