Unknown Tom Cross Staffer Kent Gaffney Picked to Replace State Rep. Mark Beaubien

Kent Gaffney

In a stunning decision, the committee of Republican Party leaders charged by law with selecting a replacement for State Rep. Mark Beaubien have selected the head of House Republican Leader Tom Cross’ Appropriations Committee staff.

The choice is Lake County resident Kent Gaffney.

Gaffney, who lives in a gated subdivision called Tall Grass in Lake Barrington, beat out the likes of

  • Bonnie Carter, a Lake County Board member
  • Michael Carbone, Grayslake School District 46 board member
  • Karen Darch, Barrington Village President
  • John Dawson, who ran in the 2010 8th Congressional District GOP primary
  • Chris Geissler, who ran in the 2010 8th Congressional District GOP primary
  • Robert Hanaford, former village board member in Fox River Grove
  • Nick Sauer, Barrington School District 220 School Board member
  • Glenda Swanson, head of Wauconda Township Republicans

Probably others as well, who did not make it to my radar screen.

My political instincts tell me Gaffney will have a primary challenge.

To the best of my knowledge, there was no McHenry County applicant for the post despite about 60% of the voters in the newly-configured district being from McHenry County.

There were those with McHenry Country connections, however.  Bob Hanaford served as Fox River Grove Village Trustee.  I understand that Chris Geissler graduated from Cary-Grove High School.

The Daily Herald, which seems to have been given the scoop on this story, reports that Dee Beaubien, the late Representative’s wife, approves of the choice.  Beaubien used to be the budget point guy for Cross.  (Interestingly, the Daily Herald is not listing the article on its McHenry County page.)

The selection was made a Doc’s Bar and Grill in Wauconda on Thursday night.

Word is that Lake County Republican Bob Cook did not support the selection of Gaffney, but is saying nice things in the Daily Herald article.

“I’m disappointed. In typical Illinois fashion, the job went to a political insider,” State Senator Dan Duffy, half of whose district is Gaffney’s 51st, observed.  “If the Republican Party would ever like to be relevant in Illinois, their leaders must start making better decisions.”

McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Mike Tryon could not be reached for comment.

Gaffney’s press release is below:

Gaffney Named to Succeed Beaubien as State Rep.

Barrington, IL….On Thursday night the 52nd Republican Representatives Committee elected Kent Gaffney of Lake Barrington to fill the vacancy for State Representative of the 52nd District left by the sudden death of Mark Beaubien Jr. earlier this month.

Kent Gaffney

“I am deeply humbled by the Committee’s election of me to the late Rep. Mark Beaubien’s seat. I worked closely with Mark in both his district office and in Springfield in my position on the House Republican staff as Budget Director,” said Gaffney. “I learned a great deal from Mark over the years and will always be grateful to him and his wife, Dee, for their friendship.”

“I am excited about the new challenge and am anxious to continue meeting with local leaders and residents of the 52nd district to hear your suggestions and concerns,” said Gaffney. “

“It is truly an honor to have been selected to follow in the footsteps of my friend, Mark Beaubien. And you can be assured that I will work very hard to represent our families and our communities in Springfield ,” Gaffney concluded.

Kent and his wife Elizabeth have been married 13 years. Together, they are raising two sons in Lake Barrington . Gaffney has work on the House Republican staff for over a decade as Budget Director.


Unknown Tom Cross Staffer Kent Gaffney Picked to Replace State Rep. Mark Beaubien — 17 Comments

  1. Thank you to Senator Duffy for having the guts to speak out against the establishment. We are at a time in our states history when we need to be bold and look outside the circle of the Springfield bubble.

    Mr. Gaffney may know his way around Springfield and it’s in’s and outs, but it is my opinion that is exactly the opposite of what we need.

  2. Hello McHenry County who is Kent Gaffney?????? An outsider is going to take care of McHenry County? Mike Tryon were there any canidiates from McHenry County ? Thank You Senator Dan Duffy for standing up for the Republican Party.

  3. There was another candidate on the list, a masters-prepared nurse with many years of community involvement in Wauconda, Pam Pedersen. She is a staunch advocate for the elderly and Medicaid reform. Perhaps we will see her on the ballot next time around.

  4. Hey Kent, 1978 called. It wants its center-part back.

    Seriously, this guy looks like the typical Tom Cross sleazy hack. No surprise he would be the choice of other sleazy hacks like Mike Tryon and Gene Dawson.

    Bob Cook was the only one who showed any integrity. He did the best he could but this thing was rigged in advance.

  5. McHenry County Needs Involvement

    Yep folks, a Fox River River Grove former Village trustee is the best you pulled for McHenry County.

  6. Possible candidates in the primary are Library Trustee/Baseball Team owner Joe Stefani, Barrington School Board member Nick Sauer, and former Barrington Village President Marshall Reagle. If Gaffney is a “social issues moderate” he ought to run as a Democrat because he would be in violation of the Republican Party platform and he could not win a Republican primary unless he has 3 or more conservatives taking him on.

  7. Regardless of the selection, interviews being conducted in a bar and grill for eight hours is a farce in itself. Lends to no credibility from the establishment.

  8. Michelle,

    Bob Cook ain’t smelling like roses here either. Rumor has it he cast his vote for son of a rich guy Nick Sauer.

  9. Phil, are you not paying attention? Dawson was in the tank for Gaffney. He’s obviously not going to run against him now. Sheesh.

  10. Kent Gaffney is a stand up guy who is an independent thinker. Congratulations on a fine choice.

  11. It is just a matter of time for people to start saying what they really felt about Mark Beaubien. He will be sorely missed by the Democrats. They will now have to spend money to run a candidate in his district, if RINO Gaffney does not win the primary next year.

    Phil…it appears this decision to appoint Gaffney was made by Tom Cross (after his strings were pulled), and Tryon and Dawson were given the task to make sure Gaffney was appointed.

    TEA Party members in the district will need to find a real conservative to support, and not some appointed party budget director…sent from Springfield. Some people have already forgotten the voters’ message from last year!

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