An Interview with 8th Congressional District Melissa Bean Democrtatic Party Primary Challenger Jonathan Farnick

Yesterday, I wrote about Jonathan Farnick, a new potential contender from Woodstock for the 8th congressional district Democratic Party nomination.

His entry into the race brings up to two the number of “peace” candidates challenging incumbent Melissa Bean.

The first was Randi Scheurer, whose husband ran unsuccessfully against Bean in the 2004 Democratic Party primary and in the 2006 general election on the Moderate Party ticket.

In 2006, Scheurer got over 5% of the vote–5.8%, to be more precise–against Bean and Republican David McSweeney, so his party has the ability to put a candidate on the ballot next year. Already, Iain Abernathy has announced he will be the candidate.

I asked Farnick why he was running. His answer follows:

“For a couple of different reasons. In 2004, her husband lost against Bean in the primary. In 2006, he lost in the general. In 2008, will things be any different?

“Another thing I was thinking, when I decided to run…I had not heard that Mr. or Mrs. Scheurer would be running in the Democratic Party. I was under the general assumption that Mr. Scheurer was going to continue with his Moderate Party candidacy.

“Around the time I announced and started to collect signatures (end of August) I has seen an article that said Scheurer was going to run against Bean in 2008. I did not read the article. I just tagged it.

“I’m continuing to collect signatures. When I went back and read the article and saw that it was Randi and not Bill, I thought of the Scheurers not having too good a track record. The other thing I immediately thought of was Illinois’ sore loser law. If you lose the primary, you can’t run in the general.

“If she loses in the primary, he can run in the general.

“That’s a back handed way to get around that.

“I knew about Mr. Scheurer’s stands on various issues and I would presume that his wife would be similar in her views. But just because someone was also running, that doesn’t mean that I should drop or that she should drop out.

“And I would rather see two or three or four or five or six people running than for us to just blindly support the incumbent Democrat just because she is a Democrat.

“One of the main reasons I could not get behind Mr. Scheurer in 2006 was his stance on abortion. He was personally opposed to it, but stated publicly that he would not try to restrict it in any way. And I was not comfortable with supporting somebody who could potentially down the road restrict a woman’s right to choose.”

“If you run, do you understand that you might split the primary vote?” I asked, pointing out the accepted political wisdom that incumbents love to have more than one challenger.

“I understand that,” he replied.

“Unfortunately most people don’t know of Bean’s vote” he continued. “I lot of people just assume she is just a Democrat who could be there to oppose the then Republican-controlled Congress and the President, and not knowing she voted with the Republicans and the President on a number of very important issues.”

A photo was not available of Farnick.

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