It was also the day he announced his candidacy for a third term in office.
It came within days after his second criminal case was dismissed without having to put on any evidence.
Judge Joseph McGraw had rendered his second directed verdict and 300 or so of Bianchi’s loyal supporters gathered at the Boulder Ridge Country Club for a big party.
This summer’s Festa Italiana was even bigger.
People who came after six had trouble finding seats.
Some estimated that the number attending was one-third more than in 2011–around 400.
It was a consolidation of power party.
Indeed, in his speech to the crowd Bianchi talked about “winning the war.”
“You can win the battle, but lose the war.
“We won two huge battles in a grand manner,” the State’s Attorney said.
“But I wasn’t sure we would regain the confidence of the community and the voters.
“You are the ones who made sure the community would Stand by Lou.
He characterized the lack of a Republican Primary Election opponent and a November Election opponent as “confirmation” that the bond of trust with the community had been reaffirmed.
Bianchi argued that trust was “proof that putting good people who have good intentions on the ballot and into office” was the way to good government in McHenry County.
As previously, Bianchi outlined his accomplishments.
He summarized the keeping of his 2008 campaign goals in that year’s slogan:
Promises kept. Justice for all.
He pointed out that
- the State’s Attorney’s Office had gone from the five trials a year during his predecessor’s years to “fifty per year”
- $500,000 a year is being saved by having in-house attorneys do work that outside attorneys used to perform
- he had helped establish the
- – Mental Health Court
- – Drug Court
- – First Offender Program
- $272,000 had been recovered from people who wrote bad checks (one woman who benefited from the program wanted me to take her picture with Bianchi)
- a program he helped start has resulted in the collection of $494,000 in fines that otherwise wouldhave gone unpaid
- his office was enforcing new statutes to take gangs off the street
Politicians aplenty were in attendance.
The man mile award went to Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran.
He wasn’t the only one from out of the county, but he was the only elected official I noticed.
McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren was missing.
So was Undersheriff Andy Zinke, a declared candidate for Sheriff in the 2014 Republican Primary Election whom Nygren has endorsed to replace him.
Announced candidate Jim Harrison did attend.
So did 2008 candidates for Sheriff Zane Seilper, whom Nygren beat and Democrat Mike Mahon.
I spied Judges Bill Caldwell and Michael W. Feetterer.
Anne Majewski, the uncontested GOP candidate for Coroner, was the only countywide candidate I spotted.
County Board members and candidates (asterisks next to their names) included
- Bob Bless
- Tina Hill
- John Jung
- Ken Koehler
- Donna Kurtz
- Nick Provenzano
- Michael Rein*
- Sandy Salgado
- Mike Walkup*
State Senate candidate Karen McConnaughay and State Rep. candidate David McSweeney were at the event.
There were some municipal officials, including Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager, McHenry Alderman Andy Glab and Hebron Trustee Mark Shepherd. Probably others whom I did not recognize.
I noticed Grafton Township Trustees Rob LaPorta and Betty Zirk, Clerk Harriet Ford, plus newly-announce candidate for Grafton Township Supervisor Marty Waitzman.
There were lots of Republican Precinct Committee. They got the deal of the night. $25 for two. And that included beer and wine.
Missing was McHenry County Republican County Chairman and State Rep. Mike Tryon and State Senator Pam Althoff.