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Benton circulating against McCann

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

* I told subscribers about this yesterday morning

Bryce Benton, a state trooper and member of the Prairie Capital Convention Center’s board who sought last week to fill a vacancy in the Illinois House, said Monday he’s circulating petitions to run against state Sen. Sam McCann in the March Republican primary.

“The thing that I’ve been hearing … is the senator’s put himself in a position with the governor and the members of his own party and the legislature in general that he’s going to have a tough time advancing the interests of the people of central Illinois,” Benton said. […]

McCann also said he’d heard Benton was claiming Rauner’s support, but Benton denied having such support at this time. […]

McCann was the lone Republican in the Senate to vote with Democrats, and against Rauner’s position, when there was a 38-15 vote to override a Rauner veto of a bill that could have sent labor talks with state employee unions to arbitration.

Benton said he would have voted against the override – which ultimately failed in the House.

There will be a tendency for commenters to get all riled up and dismiss Benton today. But you should keep in mind that there is a ton of oppo on Sen. McCann out there. And that ain’t gonna look good in mailers.

He’s done a decent job of raising money this year, but McCann is gonna need lots more to make sure he can overcome the substantial negatives from that oppo if Benton taps into the Rauner bank account. There’s more to that district than state workers, so McCann has his job cut out for him.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:21 am:

    No dismissing McCann’s troubles or the extensive money that will be thrown against him. I will dismiss Benton’s claim that he’ll better represent the interests of the district.

  2. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:23 am:

    Hey Sam, should have made that indy run, eh? If you win this one, don’t make the same mistake twice, okay?

  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:24 am:

    The odds are against McCann.

    In a business where addition is critical, McCann has gone out of his way in the subtraction department.

    Even if things are/were level, McCann’s past and more recent past decisions cut too deep to be… ignored… by those who fell and know they were wronged by McCann’s choices.

    It won’t be level, monies will be brought in to defeat McCann more than help anyone who is on the other side.

    McCann’s hope? “The anti-Rauner” candidate and hope that in the primary that stance has significant run.

  4. - Century Club - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:24 am:

    Always bad for a candidate when you can’t handle your money… worse when the narrative of the whole election is how Illinois can’t handle its money.

  5. - Almost the Weekend - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:28 am:

    AFSCME owes him a big one. But relying on AFSCME to help is never a good thing.

  6. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:33 am:

    Here’s the skinny:

    Mr. Benton can win IF he actually works the district. He has to get to Jerseyville and Pittsfield and Carrollton. He can’t just stay in Springfield. He should’ve been the guy all along, and he could’ve hit the parade and GOP fall festival/fundraiser circuits. Now, however, he’s behind the 8 ball and has to play catch-up. McCann works the district and has the advantage of working/traveling non-stop for 4+ years.

  7. - Triple fat - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:37 am:

    Hey Bryce,
    Are you going to donate that unsustainable pension retired State Troopers receive? If you’re going to carry the water for the Governor - you might as well start with yourself! Just sayin.

  8. - burbanite - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:39 am:

    McCann’s vote was in the interests of central Illinois where there are oodles of state workers.

  9. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:41 am:

    Bruce Rauner and the legislators he controls…

  10. - Georg Sande - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:45 am:

    McCann is a very vulnerable and damaged incumbent. That said, we’ll see how this plays out he still has the upper hand at this point.

    Question. Who’s hungrier to make an example of a recalcitrant back-bencher? Rauner with McCann or Madigan with Dunkin?

  11. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:46 am:

    The race is Sangamon County. McCann’s support in the outlying counties in the district is fanatical and irrational. It doesn’t matter what he does, they will vote him, calling any opposition evil.

    I’m not sure I see how this works for Benton unless the Governor is going to just pound McCann with the sizable amount of cash it will take to make it a race. Even then, the crazies which make up much of that district will still be with him. Not sure any amount of money will get the district’s state employees to go against the guy that stood up for them against Rauner. I wish he could be beaten in the primary, but I’m just not seeing how the math works. If McCann wins the primary, a general election against a halfway decent Dem from Springfield could be interesting.

  12. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 9:57 am:

    Kirk Dillard! Remember him AFSCME and other union folks? You hesitated to pull the trigger in supporting him and now you have governor union-buster. Don’t make that same mistake for an ally. Brush up the boots and get ready to put them on the ground in this district.

  13. - SAP - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:21 am:

    The other day, someone knocked on my door circulating for both Wojcicki Jimenez and Benton, so I have to think that Benton has Rauner’s support

  14. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:23 am:

    9:46 - you are partially correct. Gray Noll never really ventured outside of Sangamon County in 2011-2012 and paid for it - but he won Sangamon County by almost 2,000 votes. Mr. Noll never even showed up at several Lincoln Day Dinners - and he was invited and offered speaking time. I know because I attended several and he was nowhere to be found. Mr. Benton has to actually leave the safety of Sangamon County and wow people at Christmas parties, Lincoln Day Dinners and whatever other smaller functions he can find. If he does that and if Mike Z and the boys keep their word, Benton can win.

  15. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:25 am:

    I also think that, in this instance, Chairman Long’s “support” is fungible. She flipped pretty darned quickly and found late in the game favor for Rep. Jimenez.

  16. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:27 am:

    McCann’s made some good moves to the center/left to prepare for this, but he may find his new support their an inch deep now that there’s a couple hot House races in his region.

  17. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:27 am:

    *there, of course.

  18. - walker - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:29 am:

    Georg Sande: excellent comment

  19. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:30 am:

    Also, I say “good moves”, but I’m not actually sure that cozying up to unions and local Dems is what you do to survive a Republican primary.

  20. - Juice - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:48 am:

    “…unless the Governor is going to just pound McCann…”

    The Governor absolutely has to pound McCann. His entire control of the Republican Party is based on the fear of what will happen if they cross him. If McCann comes out the victor, and the Governor does not go all in, his mechanism for control will turn out to be hollow. If he goes all in and loses, the district is a bit unique which may help save face, but still won’t be great.

    In the end, I think a McCann win would be a much bigger loss for Rauner than a win for labor. (Although if labor beats the Governor in a GOP primary, that’s not insignificant.)

  21. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    ==Who’s hungrier to make an example of a recalcitrant back-bencher? Rauner with McCann or Madigan with Dunkin?==

    Well, MJM’s the one who’s hit the media to smack his back-bencher around.

  22. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:01 am:

    Juice has it right, although I still can’t figure out why Citizens for Rauner gave McCann a $4,000 check earlier this year. Talk about being spendthrifts.

  23. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:14 am:

    As I said before, I’m not sure any amount of money will matter. Wherever you get your information on the 2011-2012 race is completely inaccurate. Noll was, in fact, all over that district, and it didn’t matter. That’s a major part of my point about whether or not McCann is actually “vulnerable”. As anyone that’s been in this business for long knows, bird’s eye observation of any district usually misses a lot of what’s actually happening on the ground in a race. Rauner’s money or not, Benton has his work cut out for him.

  24. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    I’ve always said that what McCann did by voting against Rauner was make his reelection a race between him and a Rauner candidate. This is a good move because McCann has a lot of baggage which would ensure a tight campaign.

    McCann has to make this a fight between him and Rauner because if he runs on his background, he will lose.

    What Benton has to do is focus on McCann’s pile of negatives. He doesn’t need to mention Rauner. His base of support will not reelect McCann, so Benton has to broaden his appeal by not looking like he is the Rauner candidate.

    Rauner isn’t doing anyone any favors right now, so running against him is a good move for McCann.

  25. - Juice - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:22 am:

    TS, I think we are seeing the conflicting principles of Simon Cameron and “Big Daddy” Unruh at play here.

    Cameron’s “An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.” vs. Unruh’s “If you can’t eat their food, drink their booze, (something that would get me deleted), take their money and then vote against them you’ve got no business being up here.”

  26. - Union Man - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 12:19 pm:

    GREAT….just what the legislature and Illinois needs, another white cop with influence in an age of Ferguson and Chicago…

  27. - Sick of it - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 1:14 pm:

    I was hit up to sign a petition for Benton in a grocery store parking lot and it was pretty much hinted to me that Benton was NOT a Rauner supporter!

  28. - Blue Dog - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 1:28 pm:

    I was asked to sign for Benton and Jimenez by Benton himself at a local restaurant an hour ago. He is definitely a Rauner guy. One of the people at the table asked him if he realized how bad it might look to take Rauner money. His response was “How is that different from Sam taking union money?”.

    He keeps saying he hasn’t talked with the Governor. Has anyone asked if he’s talked with the Governor’s staff or supporters?

    Here’s hoping a good ground game from McCann can survive an onslaught from an opponent funded by Bruce-sters Millions$.

  29. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 1:31 pm:

    Union - really?! That statement is a tad bit beyond the pale.

  30. - Norseman - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 2:36 pm:

    === pretty much hinted to me that Benton was NOT a Rauner supporter! ===

    Don’t buy it.

  31. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 2:42 pm:

    - Norseman - is all over it here, including Kirk Dillard.

    It’s the Raunerites and non-Raunerites at play in BOTH primaries (IllinoisGO)

    That’s it.

  32. - downstater - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 4:10 pm:

    McCann has always been a self-serving candidate who will say or do anything to get himself elected. He’s torqued off a lot of the grass roots support from Madison/Macoupin/Jersey Counties that he rode to victory in 2010, so we’ll see how he does without all of their support. His awful money problems and his phony military service claims will all be in play.

  33. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 4:44 pm:

    Benton ran 3rd in a race for the SMEAA board… Good luck.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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