Poe vs. Durkin
Thursday, Aug 22, 2013
* The battle to replace House Republican Leader Tom Cross is so far between Downstater Rep. Raymond Poe (R-Springfield) and suburbanite Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). The two men just couldn’t be more different…
* Keep in mind that a majority of House Republicans voted against the Madigan pension reform plan and were really upset with Cross over his pandering to Ty Fahner et al. The majority of the caucus represents Downstate districts, and there are very real tensions between the two regions. But neither man has yet sewn up enough votes to win, partially because of this guy…
Kay has the support of at least two other ultra-conservative House Republicans (reportedly Jeanne Ives of Wheaton and Tom Morrison of Palatine).
* Durkin is right that raising money is a key issue. And the real money is most definitely in the Chicago area, where he lives. Former Senate GOP Leader Frank Watson managed to do it from his Metro East district, but it wasn’t easy at all.
It would, however, be fascinating to see a Poe leadership win. I imagine that the Chicago Tribune editorial board’s collective head would explode if Poe took over the helm. And just imagine the position it would put Bruce Rauner in. He’d be bashing his party’s own House leader for kowtowing to the unions. Priceless.
* If neither man is able to put together a winning margin, you can probably expect others to eventually jump in. Cross won a bitter race against former Rep. Art Tenhouse back in the day, but the suburbs had a lot more power and influence in those times and Cross had crossover appeal that Durkin has so far lacked. I also don’t expect Kay to drop out any time soon. He is what he is.