Karen McConnaughay, candidate for the Republican primary in the 33rd Senate District, got the support of a high-ranking member of Congress last week. But the grass-roots organization that helped launch McConnaughay's political career two decades ago has endorsed her opponent, Gilberts businessman Cliff Surges.
Stop Taking Our Property, or STOP, a St. Charles Township organization that fought the Kane County Board and Kane County Forest Preserve District over property rights in the late 1980s, says McConnaughay has changed her views on government that no longer mesh with the group's mindset.
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"McConnaughay, in our opinion, abandoned her grass-roots affiliations to us or Kane County citizens long ago," STOP chairman Denny Grim said in a news release.
Grim said as a member of the county's transportation committee, McConnaughay played a role in condemning land for the purpose of building the Red Gate Road Bridge in St. Charles.
"Surges has been successful in business with a very large customer base; he is well educated; he is an elected village trustee in Gilberts with experience in community planning and operations from his contribution in Gilberts," Grim said.
McConnaughay, the chairman of the Kane County Board, said the endorsement is irrelevant because the organization does not exist anymore.
"Is this a few people associated with that group using the name for political purposes?" McConnaughay said. "The group accomplished what it set out to do and dissipated as issues were resolved. I was part of that group at one time, but that group ceases to exist anymore."
Last week, Republican Congressman Peter Roskam threw his weight behind McConnaughay's campaign, noting her track record of promoting government transparency, leadership skills and knowledge of government issues.