Lester: Harris, others left out of meeting on replacing Murphy

  • Matt Murphy

    Matt Murphy

  • Ruth O'Connell

    Ruth O'Connell

  • Dan Proft

    Dan Proft

Updated 9/8/2016 1:18 PM

By Kerry Lester



Local Republican officials are meeting to choose a replacement for departing state Sen. Matt Murphy of Palatine, but only one candidate will be there and another person vying for the job is crying foul.

Wheeling Township Committeewoman Ruth O'Connell says Cook County GOP Chair Sean Morrison notified her of the 7 p.m. Sept. 15 meeting. It's to be held at the offices of Palatine Township Committeeman Aaron Del Mar. Del Mar, former Cook GOP chair and an ally of Morrison, is one of six people seeking to be appointed to Murphy's seat.

"I have not been invited to participate," said state Rep. David Harris, who also wants the job. Harris said inviting other bidders is "appropriate" and was the process used in replacing state Reps. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove and John Anthony of Joliet.

Harris, of Arlington Heights, Del Mar, state Rep. Tom Morrison of Palatine, Palatine Township Supervisor Sharon Langlotz-Johnson, Arlington Heights Trustee Joe Farwell and Rolling Meadows Mayor Tom Rooney are all seeking the appointment.

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Weighted votes

Party leaders' choices are weighted based on the number of GOP votes cast in their townships in the primary election. Palatine Township has 41 percent of the vote. Wheeling Township has 39 percent, Elk Grove Township has 16 percent, and Maine and Barrington townships have 2 percent or less apiece.

Del Mar and O'Connell have butted heads in the past, and neither has more than 50 percent of the vote. Elk Grove Township Committeeman Art Niewiardowski would put a candidate over the top. O'Connell backs Harris but says she would also support Rooney or Tom Morrison.

Murphy, a nearly 10-year Senate veteran and top spokesman for the Illinois GOP's agenda, will begin a job next week with public affairs firm Mac Strategies Group.

Sean Morrison didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.


More than a month after announcing his departure, Murphy still hasn't submitted his official resignation, Secretary of the Senate Tim Anderson says.


Compelled to say more

In an age when officials often consider saying less to be more, Elgin Area School District U-46 CEO Tony Sanders took to Facebook after controversy over a decision to grant a transgender student access to the locker room that corresponds to the student's gender identity.

"For the past few weeks, we have been working to meet the requests of several transgender students, one of whom requested access to the facilities aligned to the student's gender identity (the other two did not). We made arrangements with the student's family so that the student would use a stall to change. We ensured the locker room would be supervised by an adult (as always)," Sanders wrote.

Other families weren't notified, he says, "because it would be a violation of state and federal laws ... For the same reason, we do not tell parents if their child is in a locker room with a gay or lesbian student, or a student with autism, or a student with a bacterial infection."

Read the whole thing at www.facebook.com/tony.sanders.7?fref=ts

Community grief

Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights is opening up its annual service of remembrance to the public next Tuesday. Lead hospital chaplain Karam Azab tells me the decision to include the community "represents an important part of the grief process" and provides a venue for people to come and honor the memory of a loved one. The service begins at 7 p.m. in the hospital auditorium, 800 W. Central Road, with refreshments served at 6:30 p.m.

Atheist activist Rob Sherman is leaving his longtime home in Buffalo Grove.
Atheist activist Rob Sherman is leaving his longtime home in Buffalo Grove. - Daily Herald file photo
Sherman leaving suburbs

It's the end of an era. After 32 years, atheist and activist Rob Sherman and wife Celeste are moving out of Buffalo Grove to a home in Boone County equipped with a hangar in the backyard to house his plane and his airplane construction business.

Sherman, who is running as a Green Party candidate against Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley of Chicago on Nov. 8, points out that the Constitution requires only that a candidate live in the state where he or she is running, not the congressional district.

Money drop

Wheaton native Dan Proft's Illinois Liberty Principles PAC got a $1 million check from billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin of Chicago this week, bringing the group's cash on hand to around $5 million. Proft emerged as a key player in the spring primaries, spending millions on candidates aligned with GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner's agenda. Watch for more in the weeks to come.

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