* The Golden Horseshoe for Best Democratic State Senator goes to Sen. Don Harmon…
There are a lot of legislators that can’t find time to squeeze someone in, and Sen. Harmon is not one of them. With so much on his plate, he still manages to find time to meet with people and genuinely cares. Even if he only has a couple of minutes, you never feel rushed and he makes you feel like your one issue is all he is concentrating on at that time.
He’s also super intelligent, it’s likely that you only need to go over an issue with it once for him to get it.
Even more important, if he’s not with you on an issue he’s straight forward with you as to why, and he’ll try to find common ground that you can agree on.
He is a true statesman, and Springfield would be better off with more Senators like Don Harmon.
I couldn’t agree more. Harmon is one of the most respected, hardest working legislators under the dome. We could use several dozen more like him.
* Runner-up is Sen. Dan Kotowski…
He is a hard charger who wins tough elections. He advocates for budgetary common sense, and passed the Budgeting For Results law. He has also taken impassioned positions on guns and mental health. In light of recent events, I look to Senator Kotowski to be a leader in the Senate working with colleagues from across the political spectrum to move the state in the right direction. He has a bright future, and I’m proud to call him a friend.
And for a guy who came out of the gun control movement, he has been a sober voice on this issue. Gov. Quinn ought to start listening to him.
* Best Republican is Sen. Matt Murphy…
Best Republican state Senator - Matt Murphy has emerged as someone who is intellegent on the issues but evenly intellegent to the political aspects of the business at hand, and still … Murphy understands that relationships with other members, on both sides of the aisle, is the best way to see progress.
It is quite easy, especially in the Minority, to take everything so personal. Matt Murphy does not forget that to get something you want done, you will need to work with those who disagree with you on different issues. Common Ground leads to some good solutions.
It’s about working for good bills, and working together, and Matt Murphy understands the adage, you can disagree, and still not going to be disagreeable.
Matt Murphy has done a tremendous job working in his Caucus and in the State Senate. I wish him well, next session. I feel better knowing Matt Murphy is in the Republican Caucus.
Agreed. Murph can disagree without making permanent enemies. He is principled, yet is often willing to look for compromise.
* Runner-up is Sen. Pam Althoff…
Another straight shooter, Pam will listen to reason and be honest about whether or not she’s with you. In a time where a lot of legislators take the easy way out and say “let me think about it” or “I really need to look at this more” Pam will tell you yes or no, and more importantly why. She’s not a strict partisan legislator and is always willing to listen to your argument. Yet another type of legislator that we need more of in Springfield.
We’d be better off with 58 more Althoff’s in the Illinois Senate.
* Let’s expand today’s category, which was created last year…
* Mark Beaubien Lifetime Achievement Award - House
* John Millner Lifetime Achievement Award - Senate
I created the Millner designation for two reasons: 1) He most certainly deserves it; and 2) We have so many retiring members this year that we really needed separate categories for each chamber.
As always, make sure to fully explain your nominations. Just writing in a name won’t count. Also, do your very best to nominate winners in both chambers. Thanks.