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Could a legendary bipartisan pay for his Trump support?

Thursday, Dec 8, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Kerry Lester

Democrats dismayed by Donald Trump’s presidential victory are focusing their energy on unseating longtime Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar, an ardent Trump backer who hosted a fundraiser for him in September.

Three-term Will County board member Jackie Traynere was part of a group protesting at the fundraiser at the Bolingbrook Golf Club and said that got the ball rolling for her to file nominating petitions to run in the April 4 election. […]

Claar, who’s making plans to attend Trump’s inauguration Jan. 20, says his 30 years as mayor show he has the backing of the local electorate. He also points out that municipal elections are nonpartisan.

“There’s no such thing as a Republican pothole or Democratic pothole,” he says. “These are local issues, not national or international or even state (issues).”

Kerry reports that US Sen. Dick Durbin’s people along with Congresscritter Bill Foster’s office are involved in this. Durbin pushed hard years ago for a “red to blue” campaign in Will County and it worked.

Hillary Clinton scored just shy of 67 percent in Bolingbrook this year. Pat Quinn also won it both times, the second time by a healthy 53-44 margin.

And while Claar has been a successful mayor and Bolingbrook is a pretty darned nice town, he’s never really been so forceful and out front about a presidential candidate as he was this year. Roger is a guy who prides himself on getting along with everyone, but he went out of his way to back Trump, who is most definitely not a popular man in that town - pulling just 27 percent of the vote. That can leave Claar open to lots of criticism, particularly since his oppo file is on the thickish side. Also, he hasn’t had a real opponent in years, so he may be a bit rusty. But he does have a ton of cash in his campaign account. Turnout is usually very low in local Bolingbrook races, so we’ll see.


  1. - Not Rich - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 12:37 pm:

    I am sure that Mayor Claar is shaking in his boots now that to DC types are going after him..REALLY??

  2. - Amalia - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 12:45 pm:

    the suburbs where Hillary did well are going to be fertile ground against republicans. if the dems are not Madigan affiliated.

  3. - Indochine - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 12:46 pm:

    At the end of the day, this will be a lot like the “take out Michael McAuliffe” or “Clean up Cicero” campaigns. Roger is impeccable at dealing with his constituency, and Bolingbrook has blossomed under his watch. Anything can happen, but I would never bet against him.

  4. - PublicServant - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 12:46 pm:

    30 years? Time for Jason Gonzales to move to Bolingbrook.

  5. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 12:48 pm:

    ===but I would never bet against him===

    Agreed. But it’ll be fun.

  6. - Oneman - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 12:50 pm:

    Is there a decent size suburban municipality where unless there is some tax thing on the ballot, turnout doesn’t suck?

  7. - JS Mill - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 1:08 pm:

    Bolingbrook is a very diverse community with a sizable African American and Hispanic presence as well as being economically diverse with large expensive homes and lots of subsidized housing so I am a little surprised he went so hard for trump.

  8. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 1:17 pm:

    I’d never denigrate an entire voting bloc. Heck, I believe a huge chunk of people begrudgingly vote for their “preferred” candidate. I’d be interested to know typically what % of people actually become very enthused about a candidate, and I’d hypothesize it’s pretty small. I’ll finish this thought by saying I fully believe plenty of sound-minded, decent people voted for Trump.

    That said, if Trump was “hard e” THE candidate that got someone extremely enthused, moreso than other candidates have in the past, it would take some convincing to get me on board with the idea that person determining the fates of others.

  9. - Team Sleep - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 1:21 pm:

    I remember an old “Futurama” episode in which the anchorwoman on the intergalactic news channel expressed glee at the presidential election participation rate eclipsing 6%. All kidding aside are they hoping for a massive uptick? A quick search shows that a tad less than 3,200 people out of 70,000+ voted in the 2013 Bolingbrook municipal elections. That is a putrid number. Also - what are Durbin and Foster looking to do? “Punish” Mayor Claar? I must admit that I have sadly come to expect this from Durbin. I am more concerned with Mayor Claar utilizing a public golf course and facility for a Trump fundraiser.

  10. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 1:24 pm:

    First thing I thought of was “Al the Pal” Dixon being run out of office for his Clarence Thomas confirmation vote, disregarding all the other good he might have done. It might have felt good to teach The Pal a lesson, but his replacement didn’t exactly light the world on fire.

  11. - Anon - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 1:25 pm:

    Durbin and Foster involved in a local, mayoral election? Don’t they have better things to do? Are they really that desperate to stay relevant?

    I see a lot of conventional wisdom in the comments made on this post so far. Did we learn nothing from the Presidential campaign?

  12. - walker - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 1:25 pm:

    “legendary bipartisan”


  13. - A guy - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 2:00 pm:

    ==Bolingbrook is a very diverse community with a sizable African American and Hispanic presence==

    And Roger is popular amongst all of the diverse groups there. Attends every HS football game, is generous to every organization in town and gets things done for everybody. He loves himself like he loves no other and his Ego is the size of Texas. But he puts in the time, shoe leather and shekels to be Uncle Rog to everyone in town.

    He’ll cream this lady and add to his already self proclaimed legendary status.

  14. - Come on Man! - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 2:11 pm:

    That 27% of the vote trump got are your muni voters.

  15. - Bappa - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 2:12 pm:

    Mayor Daley once told me he thought Roger Claar was the finest mayor in Illinois. He knows everyone in town by their first name and every issue that’s on their mind. I didn’t vote for Trump. I would vote early and often for Roger

  16. - walker - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 2:30 pm:

    Bappa: Thanks. You answered by question for Rich.

  17. - Railrat - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 2:30 pm:

    My guess mayor Claar has a pretty decent relationship with the trades unions , lots of construction activities while he’s been in office!

  18. - ILGOV2018 - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 2:48 pm:

    But now he has been established opponent who has name recognition in the village and can draw from the unions because she is a union organizer. Roger might find it difficult to win this time around.
    And sometimes you just need change after all isn’t that what the country just told us on the national election? 30 years in office hardly any opponent probably because he crushes everybody. he sits on the election board that says yay or nay to his political opponents

  19. - Liberty - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 2:51 pm:

    Hateful Dems are like angry bees…

  20. - ILGOV2018 - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 2:53 pm:

    And jackie knows how to campaign and she walks and talks and knocks on doors that’s how she got elected. Lots of support for her even from people who have been close to Roger for years.

  21. - N. Crawley - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 3:41 pm:

    Roger is going to be a tough opponent, but he also hasn’t been seriously challenged in decades. He’s the king of pay to play politics and he uses his campaign fund to buy good will all over town. But he’s also had countless missteps along the way. Times have changed and the anger in Bolingbrook is significant enough this time that Roger may get voted out instead of gracefully retiring. No one expects him to lose - but but if he does no one will ever forget that he did.

  22. - Blogman - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 3:48 pm:

    Remember who votes in spring elections, only those with an interest, usually employees and families. Those Hillary voters will not be there. They won’t take Roger out!

  23. - Put the fun in unfunded - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 4:14 pm:

    Agree with Come On Man! I live in a precinct (not in Bolingbrook) with about 1/3 apartments, maybe 400 registered voters. THREE (3!) people from that complex voted in last municipal election; that is typical in suburban off year elections. Claar is much closer to Don Stephens than John Geils in terms of risk from a challenger. Claar has done much for Bolingbrook and will win easily.

  24. - ILGOV2018 - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 4:19 pm:

    Roger has said numerous times after he has been re-elected, this was the last one. I think there is a new breed chomping at the bit to run for office, even those who have been and still are close to him They want him to go! A good challenger, like Jackie Traynere is going to give him a run for his money and might just surprise him.

  25. - Deft Wing - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 4:24 pm:

    The effort to unseat him is just wonderful … if you’re a Republican and you want to witness goofy and desperate Dems run around and waste their time and money. Please, have at it.

    Seriously, he’ll win going away — not because of who he backed or didn’t for any other political office — but because he’s made Bolingbrook far better through his efforts.

    This is a very LAME idea, but please feel free to try and unseat him … he won’t give it another thought.

  26. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 4:33 pm:

    === Claar is much closer to Don Stephens than John Geils in terms of risk===

    You practically need a permit to move into Rosemont.

    Is Claar the underdog? Heck no. But Rosemont is, well, “different.”

  27. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 4:45 pm:

    Jackie Traynere is great! She’s hustled the streets of Bolingbrook for years for candidates up and down the ballot. The reason Durbin is supporting her is that she has worked very hard and been a key local player in the Senator’s efforts regarding the blueing of Will County. She’s also done a lot of great work on behalf of Bill Foster. Claar will be tough to unseat, but there’s a hunger in parts of Bolingbrook to move beyond the good old boy, get rich off of the trough of taxpayers style of Roger Claar. There’s not a thing in government that guy hasn’t gotten his hands on to enrich himself.

  28. - blue dog dem - Thursday, Dec 8, 16 @ 9:35 pm:

    Jackie Traynere. Just what we need. More of the same tired ideas. Like Rauner, just another partisan hack.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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