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Question of the day - Golden Horseshoe Awards

Wednesday, Dec 21, 2011 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Chief of Staff goes to Tim Mapes of the House Democrats. Almost half the people voting wanted Mapes to win, and almost all of the nominators backed up their choice with strong opinions. For instance…

There has never been such a force in the capitol that holds the keys to control quite like him; and there will probably never be another that will rival that control.

The man never seems to tire and he has his fingers in everything. We have a running joke where he’ll say, “Miller, I already knew everything you wrote in the Capitol Fax today,” and I’ll say, “No kidding, Tim, that’s because it was about what you did yesterday.”

Mapes oversaw the impressive remodeling of the House chambers and was his usual persnickety self. I once saw him walking through the hall on the Democratic side of the chambers pointing out tiny flaws in the woodwork to some workers.

Many believe he has way too much control, but he was obviously the people’s choice, and it would be impossible to ignore the breadth and depth of his support.

* Runner-up is Andy Manar of the Senate Democrats. Manar is leaving soon to run for the Senate and I, for one, will miss his helmsmanship…

No caucus is as diverse and complex as the Senate Dems, and he helps Cullerton handle them perfectly… Andy is a great, down to earth guy that welcomes anyone into his office regardless of their title or issue. He will be missed.

All true.

* The Golden Horseshoe Award for Best State Legislative Staffer - Non Political is a tie. Adam Margolin of the House Speaker’s staff…

The sheer knowledge this guy has is uncanny. From tax and revenue issues, to everything else in between, he definitely knows his stuff. He always manages to fly under the radar, which is pretty much how he likes it. He has been part of the leading force behind the Speaker’s staff for years now and is definitely someone to watch for in the upcoming years.

* Matt Paprocki

Matt Paprocki with the House GOP. Matt gets both the policy and the politics, and his desire to help out everyone has always been impressive. His lack of shaving is compensated for his hard work and unique ability to the process. So often staffs are inundated with political science majors, it is extremely helpful to have an accountant that understands the policy, but equally important, the numbers. On several occasions I have seen him dig deep into the actual effects of legislation/budget process, only to have the numbers altered later because of his knowledge.

I also loved this Paprocki nomination so much that I have to share…

He is a walking Illinois tax policy handbook and is very knowledgeable about most other subjects as well. Not to mention he is a modern renaissance man. Matt invented the skinny tie. He is a level-9 bongo drummer. And, he fixes up run down tandems in his spare time. Is there anything cat can’t handle?

Next year, we’ll break this category down into the various caucuses.

* The Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Illinois Congresscritter goes to US Sen. Dick Durbin. Commenter “bored now,” who doesn’t like to use capital letters, had the best nomination, but Durbin was also the clear popular choice…

when one considers that senator durbin is competing against the biggest mouth in d.c. (chuck schumer, for those who do think that illinois is the center of everything) and competes in his own, very, very midwestern way, quietly getting things done, gaining the respect of his fellow senators, delivering for his party. understated is not the same as lack of power. he’s a tremendous asset to illinois, even if that isn’t always recognized by politicians in the state.

Durbin won last year, for good reason, so we may have to offer a separate category for US House in the future and put US Senators into the statewide category, where they probably belong anyway.

* US Rep. Peter Roskam is the runner-up. Commenter “bored now” with his lower-case letters, did a good job of summing up Roskam as well…

if i had to choose someone from the house, i’d choose peter roskam. i don’t think there’s a more conservative member from illinois, but he’s not a camera-hog or an extremist. a little different from durbin, roskam continues to rally his peeps and is mastering the nitty-gritty of the house. it won’t surprise me a bit to see roskam gain a real leadership role, and i’d be least surprised if he took over the nrcc chair soon. roskam is also a power player and it was no surprise he got the safest district on the gop side…

It has been amazing, but not all that surprising, to watch Roskam’s rapid rise through the ranks. He’s whip smart, that guy.

* We’ll vote on our final round of nominees tomorrow, the lobbyists. Here are today’s nominations, all new categories…

* Best Local Government Official - Chicago/Cook County

* Best Local Government Official - Collar Counties

* Best Local Government Official - Downstate

I understand that you may not be able to nominate in all three categories, because this is such a local thing. But, please try to do your best to nominate in all three. And, of course, make extra sure to explain your nominations. I’ll ignore you if you just post a name. As always, keep in mind that this is much more about intensity than raw numbers. Thanks and enjoy.


  1. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:57 am:

    Best Chicago/Cook: Toni Preckwinkle hands down. Took the absolute worst thought-of government in the state, and built the right staff, set clear goals, cut taxes, balanced the budget, backed down some big egos, and gave people faith in their government again. I wasn’t sure it could be done by anyone.

    Collar Co.s: I like how Mayor Bill McLeod of Hoffman Estates got active, and hung in there between Sears, District 300, and the demands of everyone for and against the CME and EITC issues — and helped everyone win a little bit without losing his cool.

  2. - reformer - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:05 am:

    Cook: Preckwinkle without a doubt. She has kept her word about rolling back the Stroger sales tax, and is cleaning out the Augean Stables that are the county bureaucracy.
    Collars: Sheriff Curran of Lake County. For spending a stint in his jail as a detainee, for calling for the firing of an ASA responsible for prosecuting suspects whom DNA has exonerated. BTW, Mayor McLeod is from Cook County.
    Downstate: Alderman Sam Cahnman of Springfield for overcoming (self-inflicted) adversity to win re-election in April against a Cross staffer and now running for state rep against a Madigan candidate.

  3. - Long Shot - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:07 am:

    Best Chicago/Cook: Has to be Toni Preckwinkle. She’s no-nonsense, hard-working and has done everything right so far as County Board Prez. She’s been out in front on decriminilization and lowering the jail population, and it took a lot to keep her promise to roll back the sales tax in this period of austerity. Couldn’t have a better leader at the helm of the County Board.

    Don’t know enough about the other local electeds so next year I will have an answer. This contest makes me want to learn more about these folks. Thanks, Rich.

  4. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:09 am:

    Chicago/Cook County: Two people stand out. The first is Alderman Brendan Reilly. Reilly has been everything that Natarus was not. He stands up for the ward and did not back down when pushed by Daley. On budget issues, he’s been a voice of reason and of fiscal sanity. His constituent service is amazing, especially considering the size of the ward and the fact that it includes downtown. Despite his willingness to stand up to power, he has not picked fights just to make the news. Where compromise is reasonable he has compromised. As a 42nd Ward resident, I’m thrilled to have him as my voice in city government.

    That being said, my vote goes for John Fritchey. Fritchey has become better than anybody else when it comes to shining light on county government. He is without a doubt the most responsive political figure around. His tweets and his Facebook posts are an amazing source of information. In terms of policy, he has taken strong stands for cleaning up the county. He is the one member of the County Board that can be counted on to do the right thing. The vote for Fritchey over Reilly comes down to the fact that County government simply is more of a mess than the City and so having one good person in the county just means a bit more.

    I don’t spend much time in the collar counties so I can’t cast a vote.

    In terms of downstate, my vote goes to Chief Michael Moon of the Savanna, IL Police Department on the basis that when I had to go out there to do some business for a client, he made sure I didn’t get killed in the process. “Made sure I don’t get killed” is about the highest compliment I can give any official. Chief Moon, my wife and kids thank you and your department.

  5. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:10 am:

    Oops, you’re right. Then Mayor McLeod is my runner-up to Toni.

  6. - Frank - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:10 am:

    I know my Cook County official won’t win, but as someone who works in the property tax business, I will give a shout out to the Office of Assessor. Anyone who has dealt with both staffs has to admit that the level of service has increased dramatically since the change in office. The job of assessor to value property openly and fairly has never been more evident.

  7. - s - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:16 am:

    Cook: Everyone’s saying Preckwinkle, and deservedly so. So just for fun, I’m gonna say Frank Avila of the Water Reclamation District instead. Anyone who is that passionate about water and sewers at least deserves mention.

    Collar: Will Co Board Chairman Jim Moustis. You get the feeling that he truly cares about everything he does at both the county and township level.

    Downstate: Champaign Mayor Don Gerard with out a doubt. The “rock-star” mayor defeated a birther incumbent and got a mention from MTV:

  8. - Tom B. - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:31 am:

    Alderman Pat O’Connor for local/Chicago. If you think the Senate Democrats are a diverse caucus, try the City Council. You don’t have partisan ties to help you figure things out, you have a mix of old and new members, and you have the balkanized history of Chicago to overcome. The Mayor and his team have strong confidence in his abilities, and they pulled off a 50-0 budget vote doing some very unpopular things. He’s humble, always cheerful when you talk to him, and he rides a scooter to work. Hands down this award deserves to go to him.

    Collars and downstate are hard for me to weigh in since I haven’t worked around those parts in a while and have an uniformed view of the other side. Larry Walsh gets the nod on collars since Will County faces more strains from growth than any other part of the Chicago Metro area. It’s a tough area to govern.

    Can’t do downstate.

  9. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:43 am:

    I think officials from Sparland could automatically be disqualified:

    What a freaking mess.

  10. - Crittering away - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:45 am:

    Downstate official - Gordy Hulten, Champaign County Clerk. Gordy has done more with the Clerks office in one year than has been done in decades. He utilizes technology and social media to improve accessibility, communication and transparency for his constituents and remains incredibly invested in the community through his involvement with not for profit and charitable organizations. Oh, did I mention he’s ask an Illini fan? As bad as they were this year, that should count for something…

  11. - Phil K. - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:48 am:

    Chicago/Cook-Rahm. Very impressive debut working the General Assembly, several legislative victories and a level of engagement his predecessor avoided. Has begun the process of performing CPR on the Chicago budget.

    Collar Counties-Dan Cronin, DuPage Board Chairman. In two short years he has reduced headcount and spending and has begun the discussion and process of consolidating services by closing DuPage’s Juvenile Detention Facility. He also appears to have more consolidation on his agenda. They also reformed their employee benefits, cutting long-term cost in a sensible manner.

    Don’t know enough about downstate.

  12. - bored now - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:49 am:

    for the chicagoland, it has to be toni preckwinkle. she took on the machine and won, both in her campaign and now as the cook county president. i think we will look back on her election as a turning point in cook county and the state. more to the point, she’s kept her promises, even when it required hard promises. several of those machine commissioners have said, ’see, we shouldn’t have given back that penny!’ and tried to use some of those hard decisions to create a wedge between toni and her supporters (including the unions). but she’s stood tall. it’s been remarkable.

    for the collars, i’ll have to agree with larry walsh, as well. electing a democrat to be the county executive in will county was difficult, and a whole lot of things had to come together to make that happen. but the fact is, his election was the easy part. will is, by all indicators, a swing county, both a hotbed of tea party supporters as well as growing minority communities, and one that has always had a strong labor presence. it also has unique rules and trying to hold together coalitions in light of all that has definitely meant that walsh has had his hand full. if he wasn’t so wedded to his community, i’d bet he had wished a thousand times that he never left springfield. but he’s will county’s greatest promoter. another remarkable political talent (btw, i don’t consider walsh a reformer but his political talent can’t be ignored).

    while i’m not really strong on downstate leaders, i continue to be impressed by barb brown, circuit clerk in randolph county. a republican county within the st. louis media market, she’s had a broader reach than many of the elected officials i’ve met from downstate, and from a who-cares? position. i really think she has a future in illinois (if she wants one)…

  13. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 11:54 am:

    I can only vote (responsibly anyway) for Cook/Chicago. My favorite elected official here is Joe Moore. He’s not my alderman but I wish he was. He actually listens to his constituents.

  14. - Lonely Bears Fan - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:00 pm:

    From a downstate perspective the best city/Cook official is Mayor Emanuel. He has brought a real sense of reform to the city in the first time in, well, forever. He may not be perfect, he may not be polite, but he’s revolutionizing the mayor’s office.

    Collars- DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin. He has walked into a political storm in DuPage and led with class.

    Downstate- Without a doubt, the answer is Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten. He was criticized as being a “party hack” but has proven himself to be an effective, strong, non-partisan leader. He has cut his budget in a time when the county is simply broke, and has brought a new level of technological advancement. He is the future of downstate leaders!

  15. - Gordy's Brother in Law - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:10 pm:

    I’ll skip the first two and offer several nominations for Downstate…

    OK, so I might be biased. But my vote goes to Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten, the one guy who’s never afraid to say what he believes. But he’s so much more than that. Champaign County is lucky to have somebody so technically-gifted in technology, managing people, and in the public policy process in general.

    Gordy is constantly looking for new ways to improve service, improve process, or improve the bottom line. He’ll gladly work with anyone who will help accomplish that mission, regardless of their political affiliation.

    If their was anyone who was literally fated to serve in the public office that demands a non-partisan approach to governing, it was Gordy. I know, I was there in seventh grade when his math teacher first referred to him as “Senator Hulten” and I’m blessed to call him my best friend and I’m more blessed that my sister chose to have him marry her.

    Runner up goes to two Madison County officials:
    Mark Von Nida is the County Clerk that is graduating from the energy and vibrance that Gordy has displayed and is now taken his mastery of those talents to Madison County Circuit Clerk. I’ve learned more from Mark on how to be an effective public servant than just about everyone else combined.

    Mark wisely says, “There are two types of politicians in the world: People who want to do something, and people who want to be somebody.” He likes to work with the first, because you can trust them knowing that they needs others’ help to accomplish what they’ve set out to do. That one phrase has helped more in politics than any other piece of advice that’s ever been given to me.

    Third place goes to Madison County Recorder Matt Rice. The guy constantly forgoes on telling people the great things he’s doing in his office, out of fear that people will think he just wants to “be somebody”. With so many politicians governing by press release these days, it’s refreshing to see someone who just wants to quietly do his job well and EARN the respect that comes with doing so.

  16. - Spring - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:21 pm:

    Cook- Rahm, not afraid of anyone and willing to call downstate and the governor when no is a real possibility.
    Collar- Bob Berlin, less is more, not much coming out of Dupage other than work, which is relief after Burkett
    Downstate- Is Rich an official of any sort.

  17. - Downstate Official - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:28 pm:

    I will skip making a pick for Cook and the collars as I am from downstate. My pick is Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten. Gordy has brought leadership and enthusiasm to his new position. He enjoys his job and it shows. He is a true public servant.

  18. - springpatch hack - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:37 pm:

    Cook/City - 5th Alderman Leslie Hairston. Demonstarted an amazing ability to be a leader on the council in a short time. Might be a real rising star. And has done tremendous work with the South Shore Cultural Center Advisory Council.

    Collar - Walter Adamic Will County Board. As the Minority Leader has done a great job energizing his party and still reaching across the isle. I thought that he did a great job of handling the Will County board reapportionment.

    Downstate - Gordy Hulten Champaign County Clerk. Probably has done more for his constituents in a year than his predessor ever did. Has consistently showed that he actually cares about the integrity of the process and his position.

  19. - Suburbanon - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 12:39 pm:

    Cook County: I echo the support for Preckwinkle. She made tough budget choices that somehow kept both the Democrats and Republicans from over reacting. Unbelievable.

    Collar: Frankly I’m disappointed with most of the local tax and spend Republicans in power in DuPage and Kane. They talk a good conservative political game but then they vote without hesitation for higher taxes, big budgets and sweet pensions. There is an “H” word for that.

    Downstate: Sorry, don’t know enough to make an informed choice.

  20. - Springfieldish - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 1:06 pm:

    Best Chicago/Cook official would have to be Toni Preckwinkle. She has elevated the stature of the Cook County Board with smart, business-like leadership.

    Collar official I like Sam Yingling, the Avon Township Supervisor. In Lake county, townships are a money-sucking and spending machine. Sam has cut his own pay, reduced expenses across the board, reduced the township’s levy and not reduced services. Not bad for a first term supervisor.

    I was going to nominate the Richland County Clerk because of a nice and helpful phone conversation I had with her this summer. The woman actually answered the phone there. But I can’t remember her name and I can’t find a web site for Richland County, IL. so I guess she doesn’t get my vote.

  21. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 1:17 pm:

    Springfieldish–Sandy Franklin?

  22. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 1:25 pm:

    Best Chicago/Cook: Toni Preckwinkle - absolutely. Saw her at a meeting, and what a change. Still a work in progress, but at least she’s off to a great start.

    I’ll give a shout out to Maria Pappas, Cook County Treasurer for her thankless work on the long term financial obligation issues covering local governments.

    Best Collar Counties:

    I’ll breakdown into 2 categories:

    Elected: Hard pressed to think of one who falls in the “Best” category. Now the “Worst”, there’s a multitude of candidates.

    I’d personally go with Steve Weber, Will County Treasurer. He’s new to Treasurer’s office, but he’s already put some really good staff people in place, so that gets him the nod.

    Appointed: One of the best out there is a fairly new assessment official - Mark Armstrong of Kane County. An innovative thinker. Fairly new, but he’s a smart thinker. Unfortunately it’s kind of barren landscape after him.


    I’ll breakdown into 2 categories:

    Elected: I’ll stick with the Champaign County Clerk for the reasons stated. A breath of fresh air in a stale environment.

    Appointed: Somebody who sticks out to me is a longtime Supervisor of Assessments in LaSalle County. Her name is Linda Kendall, and she just gets the job done year in and year out. She does all the heavy lifting, and handles all sorts of dirty assignments for the County Board, and even covers for some elected officials. They’ll miss her when she’s gone.

  23. - Judgment Day - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 1:31 pm:

    Btw, the Richland County Clerk/Recorder is Alice Mullinax. Alice is good people, and gets it all done on an image of a shadow of a shoestring budget.


  24. - Champaign Student - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 1:49 pm:

    Im not as familiar with Chicago/Cook/Collar counties as i am with downstate counties…so I’d like to nominate Gordy Hulten, County Clerk of Champaign County. He has shown great leadership and is devoted to revamping the office to ensure fair and accurate voter registration and elections. He makes every effort to interact with the students on U of I campus and holds voter registration training events to increase student participation in local government.

  25. - k3_Spfld_Chi - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 2:00 pm:

    Cook- Overwhelmingly, Preckwinkle. She is a darling and has fought some tough battles but knows when to walk away and knows when to run. Cook County was a disaster left by an Urkalike and things are moving forward know.

    The collar county is Bob Berlin. I don’t know him but witnessed his work in a murder trial and have the utmost respect for what he did then and does now.

    Downstate, I would have to go with Mayor Scott Eisenhower(sp?) of Danville. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that the residents of Danville are well represented in the casino fight and all the other fights.

  26. - Springfieldish - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 2:06 pm:

    I did a little more work and Judgment Day is correct in both regards. Alice was very helpful, pleasant, and business-like, and her office is run on the barest of bare-bones budgets, so I’ll officially cast my vote for her.

  27. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 2:53 pm:

    By the way, one group that a lot us have contact with but that no Golden Horseshoe seems to apply to would be federal officials. For Chicago officials, I almost wanted to nominate Michael Dobbins, the Clerk of Court for the Northern District of Illinois does an outstanding job serving Chicago and the surrounding area. The U.S. Marshal’s offices in both Chicago and Rockford are also a pleasure to deal with. They don’t get recognition here, but they make a huge difference to some of us.

  28. - walkinfool - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 3:14 pm:

    For Federal official: the Army Corps of Engineers officer who blew up the levee to save Cairo and surrounding towns. I haven’t yet found his name.

  29. - Watching - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 3:31 pm:

    City/Cook- I don’t think you can go wrong with either Emanuel or Preckwinkle. Both are making difficult decisions aimed at restoring faith in City and County government.

    Collars- There is no bigger cheerleader for Will County than Executive Larry Walsh. His work ethic is only matched by the growth of his county’s population.

    Downstate- Happy to see Randolph Circuit Clerk Barb Brown get some comments. Unfortunately, she isn’t seeking re-election this year, but her service to Illinois goes WAY beyond her role as a small county official. It’s a shame she hasn’t had a more visible role than State Central Committeewoman. A finer official can’t be found.

  30. - Downstate Person - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 3:37 pm:

    Downstate really should mean any official from Int. 64 down known as Zone 1 in the County Official World…There are many great Officials there and the County Clerks are the hardest working there is since they are the hubs of the Countys…I give a thumbs up to all of those who are County Clerks/Recorders & Election Officials they have to wear three hats..Many of those officials have been in office 16 plus years but even the new ones accompish alot. You will find that most of the County Clerks in the Downstate have to be an employee and the boss and they do answer their own phone…. I give the award to all of the 32 County Clerks in Zone 1….

  31. - Red Ballot - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 4:25 pm:

    Downstate: If the Golden Horseshoe is awarded to the most enthusiastic and qualified person for the job, without a second thought I’d nominate Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten.

    The appointment of Gordy Hulten to the open County Clerk’s seat earlier this year was a big win for Champaign County. Gordy wasn’t looking for a political stepping stone. He truly wanted to do a job where every day felt like his favorite day of the year, Election Day. In a matter of months he’s cut the office budget, saved the county thousands of dollars by utilizing volunteers to label over the office stationary of his predecessor, and implemented technology that will save the county tens-of-thousands of dollars by printing ballots in-house. There’s also a notable boost in office moral. I’ve done a good deal of business in the county clerk’s office in recent months and the staff is second to none.

    Additionally, he is an outstanding spokesperson for the office. He utilizes media well and is proactive in educating the community about the electoral process. He has also been incredibly effective in building genuine relationships with members of both parties.

    Overall, he’s a pretty cool dude.

  32. - reformer - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 4:33 pm:

    Since we elect most our judges in this state, how about a Golden Horseshoe in the judicial category?

  33. - Anon - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 4:38 pm:

    Foie gras aside, I vote Joe Moore. His close 2007 election really seemed to put a fire under his butt. Constituent services have been great, and participatory budgeting for the menu money is truly revolutionary and exciting.

  34. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 4:54 pm:

    Maybe next year, reformer. I wanna finish this up tomorrow.

  35. - Will Watcher - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 5:05 pm:

    Collars: the Clerk of the Circuit Court in Will County - Pam McGuire - does a nice job and should be recognized. On the other hand, I find it hard to call Larry Walsh - the Will County Executive - a tireless cheerleader for the county, when the latest Congress redistricting map carves Will County into 4-5 districts for Chicagoans (ie., Jackson, Rush) who have no ties to or interest in Will. Walsh did not raise a peep about it, for obvious reasons. But that’s the opposite of working tirelessly for the County.

  36. - Cedar - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 5:30 pm:

    Downstate: Gordy Hulten was appointed Champaign County Clerk this year. While he is a true Republican, he approached the job with fairness and impartiality. He is well-liked by people from both sides of the aisle. He brought a lot of new technology into the office, is cutting costs and saving taxpayers money while increasing the level and speed of services. He has high energy and is dynamic, and very passionate about serving constituents.

  37. - Jake From Elwood - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 5:36 pm:

    Kathy Schultz from the McHenry County Clerks’s office is a long-serving politician who has nearly unanimous acclaim for how her office is run and has no real enemies. She is very pleasant to work with.
    I also have high praise for County Clerk Willard Helander from Lake County. She has been a very responsive and attentive public servant.

  38. - Allen Skillicorn - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 5:55 pm:

    Preckwinkle for Cook and Jack Cunningham for the collars.

    Cunningham runs the Kane County Clerks office. He seems to receive praise from both Republicans and Democrats for his service as Clerk.

  39. - CicularFiringSquad - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 5:59 pm:

    Cook co…lets go with Skokie mayor George VanDuesen…turned histown around
    Collars…gotta go with Roger Claar of Bolingbrook he just clobbered a big utility with power lobbos
    Downstate…Mike Houston seems to be off to a good start in his comebacker

  40. - DemInDisguise - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 7:21 pm:

    It doesn’t appear that downstate is much of a contest, but I’ll throw in my two cents regardless. There isn’t any officeholder In Illinois who enjoys the political process more than Gordy Hulten, except maybe his predecessor Mark Sheldon.

    He understands the responsibility and opportunity in office, and he gets the need for a progressive, secure and fair attitude towards governing and promoting elections in a college town. He wants to give a fair shake to students and residents alike.

    And hey, it’s clear his supporters read Cap Fax, so he’s hot that going for him too!

  41. - 1776 - Wednesday, Dec 21, 11 @ 10:38 pm:

    Collars: Kane County Chairwoman Karen McConnaghay has to win. She manages to run a tight fiscal ship and has balanced her budget while dealing with the fringe elements (think Lauzen and Oberweis).

    Downstate has to be Gordy Hulten. First starting as a political staffer, then a renowned blogger hosting Illini Pundit, and now to a very well respected county clerk. Works with both parties and won’t try and deny students from voting like the last county clerk.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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