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updated: 11/8/2012 3:29 PM

Oberweis plans to focus on business retention to help 25th District

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  • Jim Oberweis watches election results Tuesday night at a Geneva restaurant.

       Jim Oberweis watches election results Tuesday night at a Geneva restaurant.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

What will Jim Oberweis do for the 25th State Senate district come January?

Don't expect him to bring home the bacon -- as in money for roads or other infrastructure.

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"I'm not a guy going to get as much pork for my district," he said in an October endorsement interview.

Wednesday he reiterated how he thinks he can help the 25th.

"I will do whatever I can to try to improve the business environment in Illinois" to retain and attract businesses, "which certainly will help" residents of the 25th District.

Oberweis will replace Sen. Chris Lauzen, who was elected Kane County Board chairman Tuesday. Lauzen says he understands Oberweis.

"I know what he means by that," Lauzen said of improving the business climate. "Early on, that seems like the right answer. People don't want us down there figuring out new ways to spend their money."

Once the budget is settled, the senators who represent Kane County should make sure Kane gets its fair share of the pie, Lauzen said. He said he would like to see Republicans Oberweis; 33rd District senator-elect Karen McConnaughay; and 34th District Sen. Dave Syverson serve on the appropriations committee. Democrat Sen. Mike Noland also represents people in Kane, in the 22nd District.

Compadres again?

Lauzen and Oberweis waged a nasty battle four years ago in a Republican primary for Congressman Dennis Hastert's seat.

Lauzen sent out mailers with cartoon cows, enumerating Oberweis' unsuccessful runs for office. "Good ice cream, yes. Good candidate, no," they said. Lauzen also blasted Hastert for endorsing Oberweis in the primary: "Big money and big insider establishment clout vs. the rest of us in the grass-roots" is how he characterized it.

Oberweis, meanwhile, attacked Lauzen over a $100,000 campaign donation (which Lauzen returned) from a felon whose company was under investigation by the state.

"Don't expect Jim Oberweis and Chris Lauzen to hold hands and break out in a chorus of 'Kumbaya,' " wrote the Daily Herald in an article about that campaign. And in 2009, when Lauzen faced a primary challenge from Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels, Oberweis -- who in 1998 and 2005 had donated to Lauzen's campaign -- gave $500 to Michels.

But that's all in the past. There they were on election night, talking and laughing together at the Kane County Republican Party get-together in Geneva.

They have apparently made up.

"We both have a similar view of government and a similar view of philosophy," Oberweis said Wednesday. He also credited Lauzen with being "very helpful with suggestions on different things" about the senate.

"We both made mistakes in letting it (the 2008 campaign) get personal," Oberweis said.

Lauzen said Oberweis will do a good job for their mutual constituents.

"We're moving on to more constructive things," Lauzen said, choosing to look ahead and leave past disagreements in the rearview mirror.

"It's ancient history. Get over it."

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