If Urbana attorney Erika Harold is successful in her GOP primary attempt to oust Congressman Rodney Davis after his freshman term, she’ll have to win without the help of influential downstate House Republicans. Altogether, 29 endorsed Davis for re-election next year.
A week after Harold’s announcement that she’s challenging Davis in the 2014 primary, State Rep. Wayne Rosenthal (R-Morrisonville), Chairman of the Downstate GOP Caucus, announced they are endorsing the incumbent.
The Downstate GOP Caucus consists of 29 House Republican members, including Rosenthal and state Reps. Adam Brown (R-Champaign), Dan Brady (R-Normal), Rich Brauer, (R-Petersburg), C D Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville), Chad Hayes (R-Catlin), Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon), Charlie Meier (R-Okawville), Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth), Raymond Poe (R-Springfield) and Keith Sommer (R-Morton).
“Rodney Davis has been a great friend and ally to the families of the 13th District,” said Rosenthal. “In just 150 days he has proven that he has what it takes to make a difference in Washington. The Downstate GOP Caucus proudly stands as one to endorse Rodney’s re-election.”
* But elections are not won or lost via cable TV appearances or blog posts. They’re won in the trenches, and so far, she hasn’t been impressive…
She really didn’t look the part last week, drawing meager crowds at her campaign appearances. There also were newspaper and TV stories quoting central Illinois Republicans who said they had hoped Harold wouldn’t challenge Davis and would seek another office instead.
As campaign rollouts go, this one could have been better.
* Meanwhile, I haven’t really heard any rumors that any of these retirements are imminent, but Roll Call has a list of possible replacements…
“There are ambitious, powerful politicians who have been around for a long time who have deep, deep Chicago relationships, and when the dominoes fall in any of these seats, they will be free-for-alls,” one Democratic consultant said. “The Chicago races are the ones to look at.”
Local operatives rattled off a number of candidates likely to run when Democratic Rep. Bobby L. Rush, who has represented the 1st District for 11 terms, decides to retire.
• State Sen. Kwame Raoul has served in the state Senate since 2004, when he was appointed to fill the vacancy that President Barack Obama left after he won his bid for the U.S. Senate. Operatives say Raoul’s state Senate district is “tailor-made for advancement” because it includes the downtown Chicago and Hyde Park areas, which are filled with wealthy and influential Democrats.
• Operatives describe first-term Chicago Alderman Will Burns, who helped run Obama’s state Senate races, as someone with close ties to the president’s political machine.
• Alderman Michelle Harris is an influential member of Chicago’s city council.
Local Democrats are also watching 11-term Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez in the 4th District. Democratic consultants speculate that if an immigration bill is passed this Congress, Gutierrez could decide to retire.
The subsequent primary to replace him would be crowded, likely pitting South Side Chicago politicians of Mexican descent and North Side politicians of Puerto Rican and South American descent against each another.
Potential candidates in the 4th District include:
• Former 1st Ward Alderman Manny Flores, who now serves as the director of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
• First-term state Rep. Silvana Tabares, who defeated a highly touted labor candidate last cycle.
• State Sen. Iris Martinez, who currently serves as chairwoman of the Latino Caucus in the state Senate.
• State Sen. Martin Sandoval.
Finally, local operatives say if Democratic Rep. Danny K. Davis ever retires from the 7th District, it would spark a battle royal between four Democratic hopefuls:
• Cook County Recorder of Deeds Karen Yarbrough. She has also served in the state House.
• Alderman Bob Fioretti.
• Alderman Brendan Reilly.
• State Sen. Don Harmon.
So far, it’s just wishful thinking among possible replacements. Sid Yates outlived a couple generations of would-be successors. That’s been the case with those three so far.
* Rodney Davis: NSA records might be too much information, distraction: Davis said after sitting in on a classified briefing Tuesday, he doesn’t questions the NSA’s intent, but said some might fear a ‘government of intimidation’ in light of the IRS and leak investigation controversies. “I disagree with the process. We need to be sure that we just don’t dig up too much information to where it clogs up our ability to get to those who are trying to hurt Americans,” Davis said.
Wasn’t Lipinski rumored to only serve two or three terms when he first got in? I think he is up to at least his fourth so I’m surprised he wasnt part of the current story. But he will probably last another generation at least and he has outlasted some of the original hopefuls.
Congratualtions “Ex-Payrollers”, um. I mean “Campaign Staff”, you have made Miss America a pariah!
What a bunch of Dopes!
Why, just give me the “why” this was a good idea for Ms. Harold to challenge Congressman Davis?
I know Ms. Harold, Haravrd Educatted, would never go on the TV show …”Survivor”… because that might degrate all her good works and image … well, that Cracker-Jack “staff” of “Wanna-Be’s” that are “Formers” and “Never Weres” are putting you on that “Survivor” show, and are embarrassing you, Ms. Harold, all for pettiness, and spite, and ignorance of how to do things right … the first time.
As they say on that “Survivor” show …
“Ms. Harold, the ‘Tribe’ has spoken”
- Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jun 13, 13 @ 11:49 am:
May sanity prevail.
The sad thing is, this primary challenge will divert resources that should have gone towards getting them both elected to separate offices.
Ms. Harold has immense potential, but it sounds like this was a misguided decision guided by some with ulterior motives.
It is difficult to see how she anticipates this playing out with her sitting in Congress even if she wins the primary.
“Hello, NRCC? I just took out the only candidate you had in Illinois to win a contested race last year. When is our first fundraiser?”
- Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jun 13, 13 @ 11:51 am:
Sometimes, some words just “fit” the situation in a pithy way.
To the Post,
Congressmen Rush, Gutierrez, and Davis …
Yeah, they don’t seem like the kind to give the “Well, I am heading off into the sunset now …”
If anything, this shows a lack of understanding that Gutierrez is not going anywhere until something substantial is done with immigration, Davis’ only moves consist of filing 15 or so of pettitions for all kinds of offices, only to run for re-election, and Rush seems to be enjoying being part of the “mix” with Sen. Kirk, and moving the discussion forward as a “partner”, not as a “lame duck” looking to get out.
“Wishful Thinking”, thinks this is wishful thinking.
Like Phocion, it seems odd that Roll Call would list three white guys as replacements for Danny Davis.
While Harmon or Reilly would be great in the job, that’s definitely a west side district. I don’t think Davis ever ventures east of California, and he seems to think that with the voting power in that district, he doesn’t need to.
Also, I think the one person who did not make the list as a future Congress(person) is Sue Mendoza. She seems to have an eye on the office. She’d make a great candidate.
The Seventh now takes in a good chunk of the North Side plus a lot of the new residential built in recent years south and west of the Loop. It’s not a slam-dunk super-majority black district any longer. But it is Democratic.
Initially, I’ve heard the “Mendoza for Congress” stories from a few people I consider reputable.
Second, there are really only three bigger jobs than Congress — Senator, Gov., and Mayor. It is too early for Senator, Gov. may be down the road, but in the past we’ve had one person make the jump from Congress to the Mayor’s office. If that is her goal (and I haven’t heard that from anybody) a seat in D.C. would be a decent platform for that sort of race.
I just don’t see her making a move for something like State Treasurer because, to be frank, I don’t see how that is all that much better than her current job.
And of course, our current mayor spent some time in Congress, and it didn’t seem to damage his prospects.
===And of course, our current mayor spent some time in Congress, and it didn’t seem to damage his prospects.===
Ok, let’s start backwards …
To Rahm, and even Blago, they went FROM congress to statewide for Blago, and citywide for Rahm.
Now, Mendoza is already at “citywide”, so why shrink you operations, if you have goals for higher offices? You don’tendoza is in every Ward in the city right now, why shrink that exposure?
Any talk is nice to have in the mix of this or that race, but Mendoza is quite smart, and having a “citywide” presence allows for more movement then being stuck, and going backwards in a Congressional district.
===Second, there are really only three bigger jobs than Congress===
Ok, but bigger than City Clerk?
County Board Chair, State’s Attorney, and while you downgrade jobs like state treasurer, Rutherford is using that role to run for governor, Edgar was successful after being Secretary of State, and why give up the citywide exposure? It’s not like Mendoza in in the twilight of a political career. Mendoza could look at the statewides in a cycle or two and make a huge impact. What’s the rush, and the rush to be a Freshman congressman?
As for reputable sources, you may have good sources, I don’t know, but politically, giving up a citywide base is not good politics.
Given that there is no leadership in the ILGOP, even after Harold gets beat, she’ll still have a bright future in the GOP. The next open race where the GOP needs a “fresh-face” she’ll be at the top of the list of candidates recruited to run. If the ILGOP had any leadership this would be a career-killing move by Harold, but it doesn’t, so in 2 or 4 years, the ILGOP will likely be begging her to run for something.
I’m just not buying that City Clerk is a step up from Congress.
I also don’t see how a run for Mayor would be easier as City Clerk than as Congressman.
Also, you seem to overlook that Congressman is a pretty good job. You seem to think it is not worth much. Again, other than the Senate, Gov. or Mayor, I don’t see a better job.
Regarding the value of “citywide” — Stephanie Neeley also is “citywide.” Does anybody believe she can use that to make a step someplace else? Heck, I am not even sure I can spell her name.
Citywide is useful once or maybe twice to get your name out there. Beyond that, it is time to either look for the next job, or just settle on in, become a footnote, and look for outside interests as a means of getting rich while doing the job.
“Citywide” unless, it is the right candidate, isn’t worth much at all.
===I’m just not buying that City Clerk is a step up from Congress.===
There are about 5 city Congressional seats … 1 .. ONE .. citywide clerk.
You are buying into the trappings and “presitge”, not the precinct, political realities of what citywide exposure means when moving up. You dont have tointroduce yourself to 4 other congressional seats for one! It sounds like you like the titles, and not the realities.
===I also don’t see how a run for Mayor would be easier as City Clerk than as Congressman.===
Running for clerk to mayor, you already have your inroads into EVERY Ward, Congress, you have to now start from your seat and work outward.
===Also, you seem to overlook that Congressman is a pretty good job. You seem to think it is not worth much. Again, other than the Senate, Gov. or Mayor, I don’t see a better job.===
I call this my “shiny object” slight of hand the Daleys (both Richards) used …
“You get to be in Congress … powerful stuff”
And there is where the upper movement dies.
Golly, if you like titles and trappings, run for congress after being citywide. You shirk the base of operations by 80%…
2) If she was just another hack and had no concerns about accomplishing stuff.
You seem to think that citywide is so great from a political perspective. I live in the City. I work on campaigns. It takes me a minute to remember the name of the City Treasurer. If I can barely remember her name, do you really think the name of the Clerk is on the tip of everybody’s tongue?
And do you really think Congress is just about a title? There’s actual influence there. She can get things done.
I generally agree with you on your political analysis, but I think you are wrong with the citywide being better than Congress. Henry hit it on the head with the Stephanie Neely example. I couldn’t imagine another position she would have a chance at winning.
Sometimes I think the lower end city wide offices like treasurer are the actual dead end jobs as far as political aspirations are concerned. Congress on the other hand can get you a LOT of name recognition if you have higher ambitions. Look at all of the congresscritters that use Fox News or MSNBC as a platform for their agenda.
I lived in the same dorm at UIUC with Ms. Harold for a year when we were both undergrads, and even then she was spouting her nonsense about abstinence-only sex ed (the issue that got her in a bit of controversy during her pageant days). I haven’t kept up with her career since then but I can attest to the fact that her conservative views are genuine, having debated them with her over the dining hall table, even if I think she’s wrong about most of them. She’s a nice lady, though.
- Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Jun 13, 13 @ 2:10 pm:
It’s a shame that after 8 years, the lead on Kwame is still “the guy who got Barack’s seat. “
Citywide is what you make of it, and how you position yourself. If you think being a Conressman is a better career move to move from, go for it.
Comparing Neely and Dorothy Brown to Mendoza is not even close, so to say they are the same, politically is very lazy.
Shrinking your footprint for a good candidate like Mendoza would not be how I would go about it. The trappings of being a freshman of 435, versus having the base of the City of Chicago, or Cook County with a dynamic candidate like Mendoza does more than having the travel, and the headaches of Congress, and … and … covering your politcal back yard as you spend a great deal of time in DC.
That is why you send “issues” to be congressmen. They can’t be in Chicago causing problems and aligning political operatives and be physically in DC doing the work in Congress. If you could, Davis, Guitierrez, JJJ, and the list goes on of those trying/tried to work that balance and move forward.
Rod has his father-in-law working hard for him, Rahm was already looking for other work while being sworn in.
- Who you kidding? - Thursday, Jun 13, 13 @ 2:24 pm:
Thump!, Crash!, Boom! Those are the sounds of me falling on the floor from laughter. Tabares for congress, that is the funniest thing that I have heard this year. Rich I love Cap Fax but you definitely got that prediction wrong.
pretty soon, Ms. Harold will have to begin her sentences with something other than “As a former Miss America…” lest she become the more comely version of Scott Drury’s “As a former federal prosecutor….”
Your list, and the difficult time of finding anybody in the past 50 years that went from city wide — or even county-wide — on to bigger things seems to prove my point.
That’s especially true when the list of people who served in Congress and then went on to Mayor or Gov. is Rahm, Harold and (as much as we all hate him, he did win twice) Blago.
And on top of that, a Congress person can actually make a real difference. City Clerk? Not so much.
But in any case, it sort of depends on what Sue wants to do. Does she want to make a difference, or does she want to have an easy job, complete with a driver, where she accomplishes nothing that matters.
Rich alludes above to how the racial make-up has changed in the Chicago African-American Congressional districts. All three have gone from being about 65 percent black 20 years ago to about 50 percent black today. That’s why some thought Debbie Halverson had a shot at winning Jesse Jr.’s seat in a crowded primary by holding between 25 and 30 percent of the vote. Once Harris, Hutchinson, and Trotter got out of the race, Halverson’s chances became nil — 25 to 30 percent wasn’t enough to win. But the same kind of racial math could work to a white candidate’s favor if Rush or Davis retire. If Raoul and Burns were both in a primary for Rush’s seat with an African-American alderman or two or three, it could open things up for a white candidate. (Kelly Burke has a nice ballot name, just to name one possibility.)
But I think it’s all moot, cuz I don’t believe any of these Congress critters are going anywhere anytime soon.
- LincolnLounger - Thursday, Jun 13, 13 @ 4:20 pm:
I’m with Willy. I think Susana Mendoza is a huge star, and she is doing exactly what she should be doing. Instead of competing with some of the extreme voices (I’m being kind) regarding partisan issues, she is bringing real reform and competence to the table as clerk. The media (and cameras) love her, and so far she is scandal-free. Meanwhile, she has plateau to any ward or community. I don’t see where jumping up and down, waving your arms trying to get attention with the likes of Schakowsky and Bobby Rush is the best use of her time right now. (Plus, she is a new mother.)
I’ve talked to several Congresscritters in recent years and I doubt any of them would privately and candidly claim that their legislative works accomplishes a tinker’s damn. Their constituent work, sure, but their legislative work….not so much. And as far as being city clerk is concerned, i’d say that running an office the provides city parking sticker, dog registrations, and pothole claims has a lot more immediate impact on Chicago residents than Jan Shakowsky taking to the house floor to denigrate the “do nothing GOP leadership” when the cameras are rolling but no one in the chamber. Just saying. All that glitters (or makes the nightly political talk show circuit) is not gold.
I don’t always agree with O. Willy and we belong to different parties, but I agree with his analysis on this 100%. The idea that you can go to Congress, especially the House, as a freshman Congress critter in the MINORITY party with NO seniority and no pull and “make a real difference” has no basis in political reality. Add in the weekly trips to/from DC with its attendant expense and it’s even less desirable. Lisa was smart enough to pass up a U.S. Senate seat which was gift-wrapped for her and ready to be delivered.
I know the political class that reads this blog (of which I suppose I’m one of), is impressed with Rodney Davis, probably because he’s a known quantity, a political staffer who moved up, etc. I’m just not sure the general public is all that enthused. 46% against David Gill ain’t too impressive. More than one real person I know who has met him think he’s kind of an oily fake who sounds like he’s always giving them double talk. To me, he sounds like every other Republican in central Illinois who still thinks it’s 1994 and the Gingrich revolution is still taking place, nor had I noticed the fakeness. Her poll numbers are pretty sorry, but I’m not ready to write off Harold as a mere nuisance yet. She would have a better shot if she were a Democrat, given the GOP primary electorate (although consider how many million old white men voted for McCain because they thought Palin was hot. Of course, Palin was also white). Also, the narrative that she’s some naive girl tricked into running by Tim Johnson’s old crew as a revenge plot seems a bit sexist and Springfield-Boy’s-Club to me.
Also, the 29 House Republicans on this list — not exactly political geniuses or heavyweights. Very few of them have even faced a primary in recent years, let alone a serious General Election threat. Pretty sure Harold has nothing to fear from the Adam Brown-Bill Mitchell political machine (the dude they supported in the 96th District got beat by Dennis Shackelford, who barely campaigned or had a pulse).
===The Downstate GOP Caucus proudly stands as one to endorse Rodney’s re-election.”===
That says to me, “Ms. Harold, you are making a mistake, and we are sending a collective message to tell you, if you are looking for a friendly face, you need to look elsewhere, because in one voice, we are telling you, you are going against everyone, so good luck with that.”
Not a “good” way to be seen in your first attempt at running.
===Also, the narrative that she’s some naive girl tricked into running by Tim Johnson’s old crew as a revenge plot seems a bit sexist and Springfield-Boy’s-Club to me.===
Is her “staff” a bunch of Tim Johnson cast-offs? Is there resentment that Tim Johnson’s Crew didn’t get either of their “choices” through?
Johnson’s guys are just upset they are not in. Ms. Harold is not a pawn in this, if she thinks she can beat Rodney, all power to her, and if you need a staff dedicated to beating Rodney, look no further than the Johnson former staffers.
Marriage of convenience, maybe with truly different motives to want the win, but the Johnson staff bit is real. Rodney ain’t from Champaign, and ain’t helping Johnson’s staffers, so make Rodney pay, and Ms. Harold is providing the vehicle, wittingly or not.
===I just don’t think that group of messengers carries much heft, even if there are 29 of them.===
Tom Cross is partially to blame, and ironically the “Jerry Clarke” map is also used to blame the dwindling numbers of GOP members in the GA.
The strength? For me, the strength is just the whole group speaking as one. Nothing more. No one off the reservation. Will it lead to utter defeat? Who knows, but if you want to make an impression, Ms. Harold’s announcement left the impression that as a group, they are not with her.
As to the sophistication to the arguement, I can only, and I do only, speak for myself. I mock her background/education in this decision based solely on this marriage of convenience, being aided by those motivated to win like she is, but for solely selfish and vindictive reasons, so why shouldn’t she use motivated staff?
It is what it is in this case, which is a marriage of convenience leading to a candidate for one faction, and a staff for the other.