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updated: 3/27/2014 11:24 PM

A battle for GOP chair in Lake County?

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  • Keith Brin

      Keith Brin

  • Bob Cook

      Bob Cook

 

Lake County Republican Chairman Bob Cook said he decided months ago he'd rather not run for another term.

Now, though, he's leaning the other way -- and says he will decide today.

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Why the change of heart? Cook said he's heard from supporters who want him to make another run, and he's motivated by Lake County Circuit Clerk Keith Brin's entrance to the race.

"That makes me want to stay in," Cook said.

Brin criticized Cook for getting involved in the primary battle between state Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein and challenger Bob Bednar.

Cook says he tried to stay out of it, but he felt the attacks on Bednar were too harsh.

Sullivan, whose support for same-sex marriage last year was at odds with the votes of most Republicans, eventually won.

Brin's bid is being backed by Sullivan and Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, as well as Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor, state Rep. JoAnn Osmond and former county party Chairman Dan Venturi.

"If people are willing to work with the Republican Party in Lake County, then we're willing to work with them," Brin said.

Democratic and Republican county organizations will have their conventions April 16 to pick leaders.

Never a done deal

After Gov. Pat Quinn's call to extend the state's 2011 income tax increase, he'll have to find 90 votes at the Capitol to succeed. It's no guarantee. Most people would agree Quinn doesn't get everything he wants.

Assuming Republicans won't go for it, Quinn will likely need support from at least some suburban Democrats.

There's been so much turnover in Springfield lately that only seven suburban Democrats who voted for the tax hike just three years ago are still there: State Sens. Don Harmon of Oak Park, Linda Holmes of Aurora, Dan Kotowski of Park Ridge and Terry Link of Waukegan, along with state Reps. Linda Chapa LaVia of Aurora, Rita Mayfield of Waukegan and Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook.

Quinn needs 60 votes in the House and 30 in the Senate. The House looks to be a harder sell.

And new lawmakers in Springfield often face the toughest election challenges, so finding support in the suburbs could be tough.

Move over

A couple months after Wheeling maintenance worker Vincent Petrella was hit by a truck and killed as he tried to help a motorist on the side of the road, a downstate lawmaker is trying to raise penalties for drivers who don't move over for authorities.

The plan from state Rep. Dan Brady, a Bloomington Republican, is in response to another tragedy but is relevant to Petrella's case.

Illinois law requires drivers to change lanes or slow down when they approach stopped emergency vehicles. Brady's plan would raise fines and potential jail time for breaking the law.

Libertarian slate

The Illinois Libertarian Party has announced candidates for statewide office. Now, the party has to gather 42,000 signatures by summer to get their candidates on the November ballot.

Here's their group: Chad Grimm of Peoria for governor; Alex Cummings of central Illinois for lieutenant governor; Ben W. Koyl of Downers Grove for attorney general; Julie Fox of West Dundee for comptroller; Chris Michel of Romeoville for secretary of state; Matthew Skopek of Lemont for treasurer; and Sharon Hansen of Pontiac for U.S. Senate.

Green slate

The Illinois Green Party made the same announcement and faces a similar barrier to getting on the ballot. That slate is led by a McHenry County candidate.

The Green Party candidates are: Scott Summers of Harvard for governor; Bob Pritchett of Roseville for lieutenant governor; Julie Samuels of Oak Park for treasurer; Tim Curtin of Berwyn for comptroller; Sheldon Schafer of Peoria for secretary of state; David Black of Rockford for attorney general; and Omar Lopez of Chicago for U.S. Senate.

Sweet unpaid sixteen

"I hope that their success can be replicated across the country."

That's U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston on a ruling that Northwestern University football players can form a union.

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