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March 23, 2006

On to November

After a 20-hour Election Day that ended at 3 a.m. Wednesday, I slept in, then played catch-up with routine work and home things, including dealing with a sick kid.

Anyway ... the only election surprise for me was the outcome of the GOP's 17th Congressional District contest. Brian Gilliland was clearly odd-man out, and I figured that since Andrea Zinga had gotten a shot at incumbent D Lane Evans in 2004 and fell far short, the R's would give Jim Mowen a shot.

But Zinga pulled it out by less than 300 votes and gets a second
chance to unseat Evans. I'd rate her chances at zero if it weren't for Evans health problems, which are now out in the open. Even with that, she's an underdog against a popular incumbent in a district that's D-friendly.

All the news reports called Sheriff's Sgt. Mike Huff's win over incumbent Rock Island County Sheriff Mike Grchan an upset, and maybe it was. But Grchan ran very weakly in a five-man primary in 2002, so it wasn't that surprising that he lost in a straight-up contest with only one opponent.

The R's didn't have a candidate in the primary, but Sheriff's Lt. Kraig Schwigen may be slotted when the central committee meets in April, thus setting up a fall contest.

Sen. Mike Jacobs should have clearer sailing in the general election, now that he's survived the intra-party battle with Paul Rumler. The D's generally close ranks after their primary fights, and James Beals, the GOP nominee, isn't very well known.

The splashiest fireworks as we move toward November are likely to be in the gubernatorial race between incumbent Rod Blagojevich and GOP challenger Judy Topinka, the current state treasurer.

Speaking of November -- it's eight months away, and a good many people are going to totally tune out between now and then. Wonder if there's any chance of reviving efforts to push the primary elections into August or September? Would be a favor to voters and candidates alike.

Posted by jcb at March 23, 2006 10:55 AM


The early primary is of benefit to allow candidates to plan, organize and raise money. A late primary would tip the scales even further to the incumbents who sell their souls for the almighty reelection dollar. This would only lend less volume to the voice of the people, who tend not to speak very loudly anyway!

Posted by: Anonymous at March 23, 2006 01:59 PM

Glad to see that at least once QC blog is capable of moving onto November ... the rest are mired in primary squabbles. Good job, John.

Posted by: anonymous at March 23, 2006 04:26 PM

With your empashioned plea for Rumler. You must have been a little bit suprised. I hope that you think someone is listening to you. Or maybe you know the answer to that. Oh well, better luck next time.

Posted by: Anonymous at March 23, 2006 05:30 PM

You have a kid. I thought for sure that a grumpy old man like yourself would be a confirmed bachelor. Wow. Things never cease to amaze one.

Posted by: Anonymous at March 23, 2006 05:37 PM

Yeah... less than 24 hours after the polls closed.... how weird that all the blogs haven't already moved on to November. I can see why you're disappointed.

Posted by: TID at March 23, 2006 09:02 PM

Anon 1:59 -- I would hope candidates get most planning and organizing done before the primary, whether it's held eight months before the general or two months before. Regarding the money, doesn't the early primary just give the incumbents that much longer to take advantage of their fund-raising power?

I recall that back in the '80s the possibility of moving the primary got some semi-serious discussion in Springfield, but the subject soon went away, which I took to mean that the incumbents weren't interested, which I further took to mean that the incumbents didn't see it as being in their interest.

Anon 4:26 -- "What comes next?" is generally the most pertinent question, though the rehash and analysis are fun and sometimes informative. I'm sure everyone will move on shortly.

Anon 5:30 -- "Empashioned" plea aside, it's hardly a surprise that Sen. Jacobs won. If there's any surprise in his race, it's that the guy with the name, incumbency and the big bucks didn't post a bigger win over an unknown with no money.

Posted by: jcb at March 23, 2006 10:10 PM

I just found it curious that someone could describe blogs as being "mired" in "primary squabbles" less than 24 hours after the polls had closed.

Posted by: TID at March 24, 2006 06:32 AM

This is the worst idea that I have ever heard. WHy not have the Superbowl the day after the conference championships. Give these people a small deserved rest after hard fought battles. And actually a candidate that had primary opposition would get the benefits of the money they spent in the primary. This way not so much.

Posted by: Anonymous at March 24, 2006 08:53 AM

Jacobs 1, Beydler, Reeder, D/A, Boland and Rumler 0.

By the way jcb, Jacobs finished the campaign with more money in the bank then when he started.

Posted by: Anonymous at March 24, 2006 09:00 AM

Must have been due to his "owners" like the Manufacturer's PAC and others footing the bill.

Really something to brag about.

Posted by: TID at March 24, 2006 10:41 AM

They don't actually give money to the candidate from what I understand. How does that work TID? Do you know? I know they have to report it as part of contribution or something.

Posted by: Anonymous at March 24, 2006 12:16 PM