* Brian Mackey had a fun little story about the hardy folks who waited in line with their petitions…
Rena Bever is from Mt. Carmel. It’s now about 10:30. She got in line at — well, let’s say it was closer to the Burlington Coat Factory.
BEVER: “Yes, it was down that far. We were here before 8; we’re just now getting in the building.”
Next to Bever is Tonya Loker, from Wayne City.
You wouldn’t know this from they way they’re getting on, but it turns out that Loker and Bever are running against each other — for the same seat.
LOKER: “We just met each other.”
BEVER: “Just chance.”
MACKEY: “You just met each other?”
MACKEY: (pauses) “How’s that been?”
LOKER: “It’s been great.”
BEVER: “It has, it really has.”
LOKER: “And you what, if I’m not the lucky one, I hope she is, because she’s great.”
BEVER: “And I’m the same. Absolutely.”
The two are among three candidates running for the open 15th Democratic State Central Committeewoman slot.
Standing near the front door, Democratic Rep. Theresa Mah of Chicago marveled at the difference a few years make, noting that she was at the back of the line when she first ran for office in 2015. Back then she didn’t have the backing of the Democratic Party, which is run by longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan.
“I am taking advantage of the benefits of incumbency. I was way in the back of the line two years ago, I didn’t have the party support, and now I do,” Mah said. “I get to hop to the front of the line.
Mah is currently unopposed. Francisco Rodriguez has, however, filed a D-1.
A Republican lawmaker also near the front of the line Monday, Rep. Dan Brady of Bloomington, said he arrived just before 5 a.m., but like the Democrats, Republicans had staffers keeping a place. Jeff Clarke, a member of the GOP staff and village president of Pawnee, said the GOP team had been in line since 7 a.m. Sunday.
Brady, who’s been in the House since 2001, said he also checked on the line Sunday night.
“I think it’s important to make sure that everything goes through, and if there is a problem, I’m the one responsible … to make sure it gets resolved,” Brady said of his practice of filing his own petitions each election cycle, even though candidates can have others file for them.
Rep. Brady picked up a primary opponent yesterday. More info on David Paul Blumenshine is here.
* Pop tax, deaths lead to wave of Cook County Board contests