Still thinking about the implications of the McHenry County GOP interview committee’s decision to reject Tonya Franklin’s offer to run a high energy campaign against 7-term incumbent Democrat Jack Franks.
Today Jack Franks is sighing a big “Whew.”
The gift given freely by the McHenry County Republican Central Committee for the third time in four elections.
Once by then-Chairman and County Treasurer Bill LeFew and twice now by Chairman and State Rep. Mike Tryon.
Until this morning I was just focusing on the potential impact of legislative campaigns elsewhere in Illinois.
That’s not quite right.
I did point out that the manpower-starved Central Committee with Precinct Committeeman vacancies all over McHenry County would benefit from an infusion of Tea Party supporters for Tonya Franklin.
Rather than all of those energetic folks going to Wisconsin to support a cause not yet espoused by Republicans in Illinois, some of them might be working Tonya Franklin, if she were running for state rep. (This is so reminiscent of how Illinois Republicans, led by Governor Jim Thompson, missed the Reagan Revolution.)
But most of my thoughts had been focused on Jack Franks’ traveling all over the state trying to ingratiate himself to Democrats running for state rep and state senate.
You know, trying to make sure Mike Madigan remains House Speaker and John Cullerton Senate President.
But that’s no problem for the Republican-dominated McHenry County.
And, along the way Franks would picking up chits for whatever statewide office he wants to spend his $450,000 war chest on.
Are Republicans willing to wait for Franks to make such an exit from the 63rd District?
Another thought popped into my head this morning.
The leaders of the Republican Party probably don’t know it, but Jack Franks has gone to go door-to-door for candidates other than himself.
Four years ago, for instance, he campaigned actively for Mary Margaret Maule in the McHenry-dominated District 4. Franks had no opponent then.
Maule is coming back for a second try this year.
Franks has already contributed to the campaign fund of District 6 Operating Engineers’ member Ryan Heuse, so he has a stake in his winning.
Six years ago, Franks campaigned actively in McHenry County for Melissa Bean against David McSweeney. We know how that turned out.
No opponent then.
What did it take to turn Melissa Bean out of office?
Tea Party candidate Joe Walsh.
We wouldn’t want to try that approach again, though, would we?
If Franks is really interested in running for County Board Chairman (look for article about his robo-call survey on the subject later today), he might take the freedom of having no worries and campaign for Nick Chirkos in District 1.
Goodness knows that Republican incumbent Bob Bless has about as many problems as he can juggle.
Or, heaven forbid, even get involved in District 2 County Board races, where the Democrats will be trying to knock of County Board Chairman Ken Koehler using alleged conflict of interest charges.
Already Jim Roden, who fought Metra‘s attempt to buy property in Ridgefield that Koehler half-owned
And, Roden went to the C0unty Board meeting last week to call out Koehler for his son’s being head of a housing entity that could benefit from County action.
But McHenry County Republicans have little or no interest in making sure Jack Franks stays in his district.
In discussing what I consider an abrogation of Republican Party responsibility to make sure that Franks has an opponent, one person pointed out that Republican Barb Wheeler has no opponent and maybe a deal has been cut to reciprocate.
While possible, I don’t think that’s the reason for making Jack Franks happy for the rest of his life, to paraphrase the Disney song.