Meyer, Moeller debate their parties' influence on them
The Republican challenger for the 43rd House District seat says voters' choices are ultimately all about whether they want to continue House Speaker Michael Madigan's rule.
Jeffrey Meyer, 32, an attorney from Elgin, is running against incumbent Democrat Anna Moeller, 42, who was appointed after Keith Farnham resigned his seat.
"My principal difference with Anna is, I don't have anyone pulling strings," Meyer said.
"I am not beholden to anybody for my position," Moeller said.
She pointed to her voting record, which includes being one of two Democrats who voted against a bill -- signed into law -- amending workers' compensation requirements for certain companies. "I was heavily lobbied by other legislators and the speaker's staff for that," she said.
Kane County party leaders said their candidate selections were not influenced by state leadership.
Moeller was appointed in March; Meyer was selected to run in the Nov. 4 election after no Republicans ran in the primary.
Kane County Democratic Chairman Mark Guethle said he did not consult with Madigan but informed state House Democratic staff member Marty McCormack of his selection.
Moeller said she met Madigan for the first time in Chicago after Guethle told her she'd been picked, and before she was sworn in. The meeting was brief and of little substance, with topics such as vacations and family, she said.
"I don't have a log (of similar Madigan meetings prior to appointments), but I can't imagine it would be unusual," Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said.
Kane County Republican Chairman Tom Hartwell said he didn't consult with House Republican leader Jim Durkin.
Hartwell said he and Hanover Township committeeman Mary Alice Benoit picked Meyer, who said he's never talked to Durkin but communicated with Durkin's staff members after his appointment.
"I don't think it would be a problem if you did (talk to Durkin)," Moeller said. "Who cares?"
Records filed with the state board of elections show both candidates have received in-kind contributions from their respective parties.
Moeller's campaign has received tens of thousands in in-kind staff time, mailers and more from accounts controlled by Madigan, records show.
"Am I being supported by the Democratic Party of Illinois in this election? Yes," Moeller said. "There is nothing surprising or unusual about that."
Meyer's campaign filed a report Thursday showing the Illinois Republican Party spent $2,500 in-kind for printing and postage for the campaign. "I don't know what they print or who they sent it to," he said. "I have not approved any mailers."
Meyer is a precinct committeeman and a past board member for Elgin OCTAVE, a conservative group that advocates fiscal responsibility. He unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Kane County Board in 2012.
Moeller served on the Elgin City Council for three years and as the executive director of the McHenry County Council of Governments for nine years.