“Running for Office” Time

It’s that time of year when people who want to be in public office start approaching the “powers-that-be,” some times at the suggestion of others who would rather not see them run.

When I was thinking about running in the Republican primary for McHenry County Treasurer in 1966, my father’s advice was to come home and visit with the prospective opponents. I did.

One was a man who had married the bankers’s daughter, supposedly, a horse trader by profession. The other was the police chief of Harvard.

After meeting with them, I was not intimidated.

In my case, it was an all or nothing situation. I quit my civil service job in the United State’s Budget Bureau in Washington, took my $1,800 in savings and came home to run.

Visiting precinct committeemen, I got the, “It’s not your time. Wait a while,” line. I think that was from the township supervisor reputed to be part of a bookie operation.

My favorite was from a man who predicted I would “be eaten alive by the lions” in the courthouse.

I admit to having met some folks in Woodstock who could have been characterized as animals—a bull(y) in a China closet comes immediately to mind–but the lion analogy didn’t fit any of them.

So, some advice to prospective candidates, who will have to file their petitions between Dec. 12th through the 19th:


Power is held quite tenuously in McHenry County.

Get many more than enough signatures and leave a leaflet about yourself at every door you knock on. Remember to number your petitions and staple them together. And, if you know an attorney, have him or her look at your petitions before you file.

Do be intelligent enough to run as a Republican, however. The Democrats may talk a good game, but their strength and ability to smell and act on potential “wedge” issues is underdeveloped. It takes someone who has Sangamon River fever like Jack Franks to crack the mold that was set in Lincoln’s time.

If a 23-year-old (actually, the primary was two days after my 24th birthday) kid could win a three-way contest for county treasurer, you can win, too. The Republican Party is much weaker today than it was then when one Woodstock bank backed its favorite son and the other one backed the police chief and allowed this newcomer to get just over one-third of the votes in a virtual statistical dead heat.

You just need to knock on a lot of doors with an attractive message. You can expect at least 2-3 mailings being sent out for whomever you oppose, if you run for county board. But, don’t be discouraged. Insurgents like the late Dick Hoover, who was well known in McHenry, can and do upset the wishes of the “powers-that-be.”

And, anyone can be beaten for Republican precinct committeeman. Just remember to get at least 20 signatures on your petition, because the regulars are into that stage of insecurity that any marginal petition will be challenged..


“Running for Office” Time — 4 Comments

  1. Good advice Cal.

    However, the upcoming election for which people can run is the non partisan consolidated election next Spring so there is no party declaration involved.

    Those readers here who are REALLY concerned about their property taxes should be considering a run for their local SCHOOL BOARDS.

    These petitions can be circulated starting right after the November General Election day.

    You can get the deadlines and dates from the State Board of Elections website.

    They should also GET A LIST of people who ACTUALLY VOTED in the last Consolidated Election and get their signatures from those people instead of just going blindly from door to door.

    Only about 15% typically vote so if you are going door to door and you don’t use a list you will be wasting 85% of your time on people who are not going to vote.

    Alternatively you can combine your list data with R primary voters and see if you can motivate some of them who have not voted in the Consolidated Elections in the past to get out and do that this time. They can vote early or by mail as well so the Get Out The Vote effort needs to start early on.

    Property taxes are the motivator.

    If you are concerned about your property taxes, there is really nothing you can do about them in this year’s General Election as only the County Board races are on the ballot and the County Government is less than 10% of the total tax bill.

    The County Board will also be RAISING their portion of the tax levy in November right after the election but BEFORE the new Board is sworn in as the reduction last year was a one off that cannot be repeated.

  2. Wait! you mean JackWipe Franks lied? He didn’t reduce our taxes? (His ‘Cut 10’ campaign promise was just a ruse??). LMAO!

    He’s such a farkin’’ Liar!

  3. Dear sunshine blogger: please rename this post “running from office” and provide a narrative of this latest trend of compassionate conservatives irresponsible public officials running the heck out of town in obvious anticipation of the bluenami in 134 days. Local examples include our GQ magazine aspiring cover model and soon-to-be former president of golfland Lakewood village, McHenry County board member Walkup, nearby congressman Paul Ryan, and many others around the country. I know, I know, sunshine commenters here try to gaslight us with tragicomic excuses about being “tax-exhausted” and having no other choice than to leave. We know better. We know them too well. Can you hear the whisper? Lean forward. It is the bluenami coming our way very soon. It is overwhelming…and unstoppable, even if Melania “does not care.” Stay tuned…tic, tock, tic, tock, tic, tock, meow, meow, meeeeeoooooowwwwwwwww…

  4. Yep, Election Day in Illinois should prove to be a real nail biter, probably cuz it’s the only food left.

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