Suburban GOP group endorses every governor hopeful
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Clockwise from top left, Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, Dan Rutherford and Bruce Rauner are seeking the Republican nomination for governor in 2014.
Picking a candidate for governor could be a tough choice for Republican primary voters. For evidence of that, look no further than Barrington.
The Barrington Township Republican Organization's leaders recently got together to endorse candidates.
They picked Larry Kaifesh of Carpentersville over Manju Goel of Aurora to take on Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth for Congress. And they picked state Sen. Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove for the U.S. Senate nomination over Doug Truax of Downers Grove, Chad Koppie of Gilberts and William Lee of Rockton.
But when committeeman Gene Dawson sent over the endorsements for the highly watched governor's race, it said: "All candidates."
Good or bad?
Dawson said the group couldn't come to a consensus on someone to pick. He said it was because everyone in the endorsement meeting passionately backed someone different, not because no one felt passionately about anyone.
"Yes, we do think that the candidates are strong," Dawson said.
Candidates have until Monday to file for office, but the state Board of Elections has taken a break for Thanksgiving like everyone else.
The lineup will change as people get their petitions turned in Monday, but some observations of note so far: Talk show host Joe Walsh hasn't filed to run in a Republican primary against U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren of Winfield — or anyone else — as he'd been flirting with doing.
Same-sex marriage backer and state Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein doesn't have a Republican primary opponent yet despite a heavy push from conservative leaders to challenge him.
What do you think of the matchups? Let me know.
A bipartisan pension agreement that will send lawmakers back to Springfield next week opens the door for movement on other legislation local officials have been watching closely.
For one, it gives lawmakers a chance to move forward on a proposal to reauthorize gambling on horses online next year, a move that could save the Arlington International Racecourse live racing season. The Illinois Racing Board has said it'll cut the season nearly in half if lawmakers don't act by the end of January, and Tuesday could be their only meeting before then.
And the local push to give tax breaks to the new Office Depot company in hopes of it staying in the Office Max offices in DuPage County could get attention, too.
Extend G.I. benefits?
A new proposal from U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville would extend G.I. education benefits to foster children and legal wards. He heard from a Joliet native who is legal guardian of a boy whose benefits were revoked after initially being approved.
"Children of the men and women who serve honorably shouldn't be denied the benefits they were promised because of a bureaucratic oversight," Foster said in a statement.
On a personal and holiday-related note, thank you to everyone who reached out to me via phone, text, email and Facebook after my parents' home was destroyed by the Washington, Ill., tornado.
One Statehouse observer joked to me about being curious which would come first, their house being rebuilt or an agreement among lawmakers over the big, unwieldy pensions issue. We could find out next week.
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