County Fair Politicians

The McHenry County Fair is a place that a politician can meet a lot of people. I loved working them while I was running for County Treasurer and in that office from 1966-70. Not to mention the 16 years I served as state representative in the 1970’s and 1990’s.

Yesterday afternoon, I arrived just after 5.

Before I got in the gate, I saw 8th District Congresswoman Melissa Bean greeting people outside the ticket gate.

Congresswoman Melissa Bean greeted voters and gave away candy outside the ticket booth of the McHenry County Fair late Friday afternoon.

Pretty much everyone without a pit pass for the tractor pull had walk past her and her aide. A real “pressing the flesh” event. She was giving away something with sugar in it, which, amazingly, I was able to pass up.

Joe Williams, unopposed Republican candidate for Regional Superintendent of Schools was attending with his family.

The next candidate, Joe Williams, introduced himself at the ticket booth. Having no fall opponent for the office of McHenry County Regional Superintendent of Schools, he was in family mode. Just taking in the fairgrounds’ experience.

Never can predict where one will run into a candidate. John O'Neill had just bought corn on the cob for his kids.

Republican candidate for State Representative John O’Neill, a McHenry Grade School Board member and McHenry Library Trustee, had paused to buy corn on the cob from the Knights of Columbus of Woodstock and McHenry.

The tent for Jack Franks is strategically placed at the intersection where people either head to the livestock or go south to the commercial buildings.

I passed Jack Franks’ booth, but he wasn’t there. I did get a smiley face from a young man staffing his well-placed tent, however.

Independent judicial candidate Sally Wiggins stands in front of her tent.

Sally Wiggins, the Independent candidate for judge, had a tent on the way to the main place politicians were gathered.

Sally Wiggins was not wearing high heels at the McHenry County Fair.

I discovered she was not wearing high heels, as she has been every other time I have seen her.  She was wearing boots.

Sally Wiggins was distributing 20 different stickers to people who stopped by her County Fair tent. Click to enlarge any image.

She was passing out stickers with multiple messages.  I imagine most of her campaign themes, experience and background are included.

This is the first time I have ever seen any candidate distribute more than one sticker at an event.

That’s a campaign technique I have never seen before. So, that makes two innovations (three, if you could running as an “Independent”):

  • roses at parades and
  • stickers with multiply messages

Mike Mahon wore his campaign tee shirt.

Walking past Wiggins’ booth was Democratic Party candidate for sheriff, Mike Mahon.

Nunda Township Trustee Joni Smith and her son were wearing Kieth Nygren tee shirts.

Nunda Township Trustee Joni Smith came walking down the path. She and her son were wearing Nygren tee shirts, so I got photos to balance this story.

Nunda Township Republican Party Chairman Brent Smith, an avid Keith Nygren supporter, confronts Mike Mahon, Nygren's Democratic Party challenger.

Slightly behind was husband Brent Smith. He confronted Mahon asking if he had been arrested for DUI.

“Have you read my press release?” Mahon replied.

This went on for a while until a women in the booth next door chided them for not setting a good example for the children at the fair.

In any event, I sense the subject of a forthcoming hit piece against Mahon.

Flashing lights drew people to the Sheriff's Squad Car.

I passed two vehicles from the Sheriff’s Department that were right outside the Sheriff’s Department’s official booth.

Sheriff Keith Nygren engaged kids passing his booth.

A uniformed Sheriff Keith Nygren was standing right inside the door at one of two booths (three, if you count the vehicles outside) being sponsored by the Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Keith Nygren engages children while their parents watch the interchange.

Nygren was in campaign mode, aiming his pitches at children.

Keith Nygren bounces a ball to a little boy.

He gave some high fives to kids and bounced a ball for younger ones to catch.

Republican Party booth at the McHenry County Fair.

Right around the corner was the GOP booth.

Gordon Graham was handing out nail files and Teddy Grahams. The Teddy Grahams hit ths spot.

Gordon Graham was passing out nail files and Teddy Grahams. Showing good campaign technique was the positioning of his wife on the other side of the aisle in front of an unmanned booth. That way, if someone turned away from the Republican booth, she could approach them from the other side.

GOP State Rep. candidate John O'Neill, having finished his corn, was in campaign mode in front of the GOP booth.

Jack Frank’s opponent John O’Neill was passing out job fair brochures.

Congresswoman Melissa Bean's booth early Saturday evening.

Almost across the aisle was Melissa Bean’s booth. Like last night, it was unstaffed.

In the other building I found the Libertarian Party booth.

The Libertarian Party booth.

People were asked to put glass tokens into jars that represented their opinion of governmental expenditures.

Crystal Lake's Bill Barth was manning the Libertarian Party booth.

There were actually a couple in the jar that said government always spends money wisely. Most, however, were in the “never” or “rarely” jars.

Nancy Shepherdson and Bob Kaempfe were manning the Democratic Party booth.

The Democrats were across the aisle. That’s where I found Mike Tryon’s opponent Bob Kaempfe.

8th State Central Committeewoman Nancy Shepherson was with him.

Jesse White also had a booth.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White still had enough money in his budget to pay for a County Fair booth, but it wasn’t manned Saturday night.

From the photo I was sent yesterday, I know Congressman Don Manzullo had a booth and was told he was there earlier, but I didn’t see the booth.

The McHenry County Fair continues through Sunday evening.


County Fair Politicians — 12 Comments

  1. I have a great idea instead on Mr. Nygren’s henchman heckling Mr. Mahon how about the two of them Mr.Mahon and Mr.Nygren just have a public debate?

  2. Its a very dark and rainy morning today. Kind of nice to have a cup of coffee and stay inside.

    I can’t tell you how great it is to see Sheriff Nygren in Uniform. Talking with the kids, showing “Unity” with his team of deputies.

    “Appearances” do make a difference. Keith Nygren looks great and I for one, feel darn good about him right now. I’m pretty sure his ‘team’ had to be happy as well and you can see the look of “Respect” and “Interest” in the eyes of the children.

    Now “THIS” is the picture of a “Sheriff!” Little things do mean alot to”The Folks.” Nicely done Sheriff.

  3. Far too much interest in Sally Wiggins footwear, Cal. She occassionally can be found out of high heals, and what, sometimes you can be found in them, perhaps??? lol

    Also, in case you were interested, the Bean Booth was manned the whole day. I believe the staffer may have gone out to say hello to his boss, since, when she believes in complete seperation of her campaign activities and her official duties.

    I guess we cannot say the same for Sheriff Nygren, who was giving out campaign stickers from his booth at the fair. I’d like to know who paid for those stickers — though I really don’t need to ask, right? It was good to see Nygren in McHenry county, in uniform, for a change. It was almost like he was working, right?

    Perhaps next year for kicks he can drive around the fair in the county’s new Sheriff’s Department tank. That way it will go to some use.

  4. I’m no diehard Nygren supporter, but I must admit that I find it interesting that Mahon in his press release states that he stopped drinking after his DUI but one photo on this very blog shows him clearly
    Drinking a beer? Is he all talk or what?

    And to
    cal- keep up the good work!

  5. Terry, Im laughing my head off!!!

    Cal, please stop showing all these photos of Sally Wiggins….. My heart can’t take it any longer.

    I’m sorry “Your Honor” I must say you are one classy gal! Why if I weren’t trapped here in S. Elgin, I’d be your “Campaign Manager” free of charge.

    This was a nice posting Cal. Very nice indeed.

  6. Mike Mahon was photographed drinking ice-water out of a stock beer cup, which was given to everyone who ordered a non-bottled drink. Every person there knows what he was drinking, and it was not beer. Nice try, but you need to stop spreading petty gossip. Mahon has not had a drink for almost 20 years. It sounds like there are a few on this forum who should consider the same plan of action.

    You should also be more concerned with the unethical behavior of Nygren and his cronies than Mahon’s choice of iced beverage.

    Maybe you should be more concerned about Nunda Trustee Joni Smith having to file and emergency order of protection against Brent Smith. The same Brent Smith who verbally attacked Mike Mahon during the fest. When Mahon refused to engage his questions he became increasingly agitated increasing his physical display and raising his voice until a bystander requested he be removed. The Smiths are close friends of Nygren. He seems to have many friends who show questionable behavior. Birds of a feather.

    What did you do, Brent? Did you threaten her with a weapon? Did you hit her? How many times did you do this before she finally filed for protection? Is this how you treat others who are physically incapable of defending themselves? Or is this how you feel women should be treated? No wonder you showed such lack of self control at the fair.

    Mahon has be upfront and honest. This is something his challenger cannot claim.

  7. I can agree Mahon has seemingly been up front and honest about his alcohol problem and apparent DUI, however I don’t see where that automatically means his potential constituents should not be allowed to use that in their decision on if he should be the Counties top law enforcement official.

    Many people have been personally harmed or lost friends, family, and loved ones to those who choose to drive drunk. If to an individual voter the drunk driving issue or the implied alcohol problem in their opinion disqualifies someone from being the top law enforcement official in our county then I don’t think they should be judged or belittled for having that opinion. It is a legitimate opinion on the issue.

    If the constituent in question did engage in the activities the Mahon supporter is implying he did I say that he would not make a very good law enforcement official either. However, I don’t believe he is running for Sheriff.

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