Rich Miller

Rich Miller

Trumpers making primary moves

Spread the love

By Rich Miller

“We’re not the party of Trump,” Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie told an interviewer a couple of months ago. “I’m in the Republican Party and the party of Lincoln. And at the end of the day, the important thing is that we’re standing up for ideas and ideals and not a personality. And that is what the Republican Party has been about for decades and what I believe we’re going to be going forward.”
At least as far as the Illinois governor’s race goes, that now seems less likely.
As you undoubtedly know by now, Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) did not appear to be gaining traction until the GOP primary battlefield was reshaped as a referendum on the former President Trump by big money pumped in from billionaire Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker and Republican billionaire Dick Uihlein.
RichMiller 1

Rich Miller

The question now is whether that Trump referendum will move down the ballot. Two polls showed a very tight Republican attorney general primary with huge numbers of people who can’t decide between Ken Griffin-backed Steve Kim and outlandish, far-right covid attorney Tom DeVore, who has been endorsed by Bailey. And Trump and Bailey have both endorsed US Rep. Mary Miller over fellow Republican US Rep. Rodney Davis.
And what about the state legislature?
While the House Republican Organization is formally staying out of the race in the open 87th District primary, House GOP Leader Jim Durkin has contributed $5,000 to candidate Mary Burress. And a committee controlled by Durkin ally Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) has maxed out to Burress with a $59,900 contribution. Burress, the Tazewell County Treasurer, is running against Tazewell County Board member and physician William Hauter.
The reason I mention this is that Burress is one of the only House Republican candidates I can find who is openly touting her support for former President Trump. “Mary Burress is the pro-Trump Republican working to make Illinois great again,” declares a headline on one mailer, which also features a photo of her next to the former POTUS.
With Bailey surging and a recent Sun-Times poll showing Trump still very popular with party members, it would seem to be a no-brainer for conservative Republican candidates to publicly attach themselves to one or the other or both in their advertising and social media posts.
Bailey has decided to take the initiative. And there are some unifying threads here: House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and the 2019 gas tax hike that Durkin eventually supported.
“We’ve got a whole list of anti-establishment reformers who we’re going to be endorsing in the next 24 hours,” a top Bailey official told me late last week.
Included on the list is Sen. Win Stoller (R-East Peoria). Stoller is up against Brett Nicklaus, who is backed by House GOP Leader Jim Durkin and others close to him.
There’s no love at all between Bailey and Durkin. The two clashed often when Bailey was in the House and Durkin fully backed Irvin. Both Durkin and Irvin’s running mate Rep. Avery Bourne voted to double the motor fuel tax in 2019, something Bailey often pounds home on the campaign trail as the price of gas has skyrocketed. Bailey doesn’t seem to have any ideas about how to repair and upgrade our woefully dilapidated infrastructure without that money, but nobody seems to care.
Bailey also endorsed Republican Don Debolt over Sen. Steve McClure (R-Springfield), who voted for the gas tax increase as well. And Bailey’s backing former GOP Rep. John Cabello in his race against a candidate backed by a trade union which pushed hard to raise the gas tax. Cabello voted “No.”
Kent Gray is running against Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield), who voted with his party leadership on the gas tax. Gray has not raised a lot of money, has a thick opposition research file and Butler hasn’t taken any chances by spending big and campaigning hard. If Bailey’s coattails can drag Gray across the line… whew.
Bailey’s also supporting Travis Weaver against Rep. Mark Luft (R-Pekin) who wasn’t around for the gas tax vote, but is backed heavily by Durkin and some unions. And he’s supporting Rep. Dave Welter’s opponent Jed Davis. Welter (R-Morris) is in House Republican leadership, so you already know where he was in 2019.
That was one tough vote in 2019. It took guts to take it and I still think, despite the prices, it was the right thing to do for the state’s future. We’ll see if Bailey tries to connect those tax dots in voters’ minds or whether, as time expires, he’ll just try to win these races with his personality alone.
Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.

Local News

Bedford Park Job Fair Flyer-Final Draft

Looking for work? Check out this job fair Tuesday in Bedford Park

Spread the love

Spread the love

Grace Hynes, a senior at the University of Chicago and a Mother McAuley graduate, shot 17-for-36 from the field and 10-for-13 from the free-throw line during a two game stretch that included a win over previously unbeaten New York University. Photo courtesy of University of Chicago Athletics

College Notebook | Grace Hynes helps Maroons end NYU’s unbeaten run

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Mike Walsh Correspondent Mother McAuley alum Grace Hynes was the University Athletic Association’s Athlete of the Week in women’s college basketball for the timeframe ending January 17. Hynes, a senior at the University of Chicago, had 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Maroons’ handed top-ranked New York University its first loss…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Basketball | TF North ends Oak Lawn’s win streak at seven

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Millar Correspondent Oak Lawn had a seven-game winning streak snapped last week in Calumet City, but Spartans coach Jason Rhodes knows it’s still been a heck of a January for a team thriving despite the loss of its leading scorer. Junior guard Corey Lee scored 14 points and senior guard Ayham…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Basketball | Trunk a treasure late as Sandburg tops Lockport

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent On Senior Night at Sandburg, it was a freshman who saved the Eagles. Zoe Trunk stole the ball and hit a layup with 10 seconds to play, completing Sandburg’s rally from a 12-point third-quarter deficit in a 37-34 victory over Lockport on Jan. 26 in Orland Park. The Eagles…

Sophia Figueroa, a sophomore at Sandburg, wrestles for the Andrew co-op.

Girls Wrestling | Sandburg’s Sophia Figueroa eyes state tourney bid

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Millar Correspondent Sophia Figueroa is fired up for the girls wrestling postseason. The Sandburg sophomore competes for the Andrew co-op girls team, which also includes wrestlers from Stagg. As a freshman last season, Figueroa fell one win short of qualifying for the inaugural IHSA girls wrestling state finals. She was pinned…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Basketball | Evergreen Park breaks out, but can’t overcome Hillcrest

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Millar Correspondent Evergreen Park coach Jim Sexton knows he has a team capable of putting up big offensive numbers behind a bevy of strong shooters. That just has not happened consistently this season for the Mustangs, who have struggled to score more often than not. The offense, however, had a breakout…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Basketball | Adam Stuursma scores 30, helps rally Chicago Christian to win over Shepard

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Millar Correspondent Chicago Christian went into last week’s game against crosstown rival Shepard having lost eight games in a row. It didn’t seem likely the Knights were going to end that streak when they went to halftime down by 16 points. Knights coach Kevin Pittman implored his team to focus on…

CRRNH_StLaurenceCheerChamps_020123

Viking girls are golden

Spread the love

Spread the love The St. Laurence High School cheerleaders (aka the Golden Girls) won first place in their division at the Spartan Showdown at Marian Catholic High School late last month. Clearing and Garfield Ridge girls played a key role in the team’s success. Those girls (and their grade schools) are: Lauren Weyer (St. Jane…

CRRNH_KimHughes01_020123

She kept her promise

Spread the love

Spread the love. . By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] . Never underestimate a woman’s love for her man. Gary and Kimberly Hughes met in 1996. They fell in love and were wed in 1998. They bought a home near 61st and Natchez and were on their way…

Palos School District 128 has launched a Therapy Dog visitation program for students at Navajo Elementary and Independence Jr. High in Palos Heights. (Supplied photos)

District 128 schools are going to the dogs and the kids love it

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Pet therapy has also been shown to improve energy levels, self-esteem, social skills, verbal communication and mood, as well as decrease depression. Palos Heights School District 128 made the decision to bring pet therapy into the classroom to help both its students and staff reap these benefits while enjoying the…

Neighbors

DVN JCs Restoration House Ad
Bedford Park Job Fair Flyer-Final Draft

Looking for work? Check out this job fair Tuesday in Bedford Park

Spread the love

Spread the love

Grace Hynes, a senior at the University of Chicago and a Mother McAuley graduate, shot 17-for-36 from the field and 10-for-13 from the free-throw line during a two game stretch that included a win over previously unbeaten New York University. Photo courtesy of University of Chicago Athletics

College Notebook | Grace Hynes helps Maroons end NYU’s unbeaten run

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Mike Walsh Correspondent Mother McAuley alum Grace Hynes was the University Athletic Association’s Athlete of the Week in women’s college basketball for the timeframe ending January 17. Hynes, a senior at the University of Chicago, had 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Maroons’ handed top-ranked New York University its first loss…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Basketball | TF North ends Oak Lawn’s win streak at seven

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Millar Correspondent Oak Lawn had a seven-game winning streak snapped last week in Calumet City, but Spartans coach Jason Rhodes knows it’s still been a heck of a January for a team thriving despite the loss of its leading scorer. Junior guard Corey Lee scored 14 points and senior guard Ayham…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Girls Basketball | Trunk a treasure late as Sandburg tops Lockport

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Randy Whalen Correspondent On Senior Night at Sandburg, it was a freshman who saved the Eagles. Zoe Trunk stole the ball and hit a layup with 10 seconds to play, completing Sandburg’s rally from a 12-point third-quarter deficit in a 37-34 victory over Lockport on Jan. 26 in Orland Park. The Eagles…

Sophia Figueroa, a sophomore at Sandburg, wrestles for the Andrew co-op.

Girls Wrestling | Sandburg’s Sophia Figueroa eyes state tourney bid

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Millar Correspondent Sophia Figueroa is fired up for the girls wrestling postseason. The Sandburg sophomore competes for the Andrew co-op girls team, which also includes wrestlers from Stagg. As a freshman last season, Figueroa fell one win short of qualifying for the inaugural IHSA girls wrestling state finals. She was pinned…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Basketball | Evergreen Park breaks out, but can’t overcome Hillcrest

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Millar Correspondent Evergreen Park coach Jim Sexton knows he has a team capable of putting up big offensive numbers behind a bevy of strong shooters. That just has not happened consistently this season for the Mustangs, who have struggled to score more often than not. The offense, however, had a breakout…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Basketball | Adam Stuursma scores 30, helps rally Chicago Christian to win over Shepard

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Millar Correspondent Chicago Christian went into last week’s game against crosstown rival Shepard having lost eight games in a row. It didn’t seem likely the Knights were going to end that streak when they went to halftime down by 16 points. Knights coach Kevin Pittman implored his team to focus on…

CRRNH_StLaurenceCheerChamps_020123

Viking girls are golden

Spread the love

Spread the love The St. Laurence High School cheerleaders (aka the Golden Girls) won first place in their division at the Spartan Showdown at Marian Catholic High School late last month. Clearing and Garfield Ridge girls played a key role in the team’s success. Those girls (and their grade schools) are: Lauren Weyer (St. Jane…

CRRNH_KimHughes01_020123

She kept her promise

Spread the love

Spread the love. . By Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • [email protected] . Never underestimate a woman’s love for her man. Gary and Kimberly Hughes met in 1996. They fell in love and were wed in 1998. They bought a home near 61st and Natchez and were on their way…

Palos School District 128 has launched a Therapy Dog visitation program for students at Navajo Elementary and Independence Jr. High in Palos Heights. (Supplied photos)

District 128 schools are going to the dogs and the kids love it

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Pet therapy has also been shown to improve energy levels, self-esteem, social skills, verbal communication and mood, as well as decrease depression. Palos Heights School District 128 made the decision to bring pet therapy into the classroom to help both its students and staff reap these benefits while enjoying the…

DVN Jack Pats Butcher Shop House Ad
CRR NH Rainbow Motel House Ad