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Question of the day: 2020 Golden Horseshoe Awards

Thursday, Dec 10, 2020

* The 2020 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Senate Democratic Legislative Assistant/District Office Manager goes to Jan’et Scott, Leader Kim Lightford’s former LA

Jan’et consistently went above and beyond while maintaining her compassionate and professional demeanor. In a year that the Majority Leader ran for Senate President, lost and tried to step down from the ILBC only to be pulled back in, all while responding to the many COVID-19 crises. Jan’et’s commitment to serving the Leader and her constituents is unparalleled.

Runner-up goes to Rich Jacobs, Sen. Castro’s Chief of Staff, for a very strong nomination.

* The 2020 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Senate Republican Legislative Assistant/District Office Manager goes to Shannon Hogan, Sen. Sue Rezin’s Chief of Staff

Shannon has worked tirelessly on all constituent issues from unemployment to long-term care facilities and the LaSalle Home in their embattled district that has struggled with high covid numbers throughout most of the pandemic.

Runner-up goes to the late Jeanne Greenfield, Sen. Dave Syverson’s former Chief of Staff. Rest in peace.

* On to today’s categories…

Best House Democratic Campaign Staffer

Best Senate Democratic Campaign Staffer

As always, do your best to nominate in both categories and make sure to explain your answer. Also, if you can’t make a nomination today, please donate to Lutheran Social Services of Illinois if you haven’t yet done so. We’ve surpassed last year’s total, but we’ve kinda stalled out. Click here. Any amount is greatly appreciated and goes to a very good cause. Thanks!

- Posted by Rich Miller        

18 Comments
  1. - CookCo - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 1:54 pm:

    I’d like to nominate Mary Ann Pantle for HDems. She ran the Yang-Rohr show out in Naperville. She is extremely thoughtful, dedicated, and successfully navigated flipping a district when the playbook was thrown out the window due to COVID. All while working part-time on an advanced degree. You couldn’t ask for a better staffer or person!


  2. - Democratic Majority - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 3:08 pm:

    Might as well name the HDEM award after Tiffany Moy, but…

    Madelyn Amos.

    New to the state, new to the operation of the Speaker, working political only, thrown right into Aaron Ortiz in the primary, navigating Chuy and MJM and going against Ed Burke’s candidate for state rep while taking on Burke, as well as his plant, for 14th Ward committee person.

    Then, went on to Costa Howard in the general, going against a former HGOP leader back for a rematch while dealing with the fallout from TCH’s early statement against the Speaker.

    That’s a lot and she was phenomenal.

    Can’t speak to SDEM


  3. - Soccermom - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 3:39 pm:

    Tiffany Moy is superb. Extraordinary. Impeccable. Awesome.

    She us the consummate professional— always prepared, calm, smart, savvy. She is the total package.

    It can’t have been easy for her to navigate between the Speakers folks and Terra Costa Howard‘s campaign, but she managed with almost unimaginable grace. She remained good-humoured during some really difficult days, she was unflappable in the face of staff drama, and she rejoiced at the victory, without betraying a hint of the challenges she faced inside DPI. When I grow up I want to be Tiffany Moy.


  4. - ABCD - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 4:26 pm:

    SDEM - Miles Sodowski took to all the central IL highways to help out the downstate Senate Dems. He helped Stadelman and Bennett build out their teams and finished in Peoria to help Koehler win one of the few SDem Tier 1 races. He deserves to win it this year.


  5. - DuPager - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 5:21 pm:

    Jon Kozlowski for HDems! He was with Mejia-Beal’s campaign and probably knocked more doors and talked to more voters than any single candidate this cycle while managing the day to day operations. Incredibly hard working and helped make a Dem candidate viable in a tough R district.


  6. - Big time player - Thursday, Dec 10, 20 @ 6:51 pm:

    House Dems- Tiffany Moy did a great job in the suburbs. Downstate is lost to the Dems. She picked up two lost one. Downstate is over for the Dems, her skill needs to be in changing the suburbs.

    Senate Dems- Nick Gianinni, took a progressive Latina and got her a win in Kane, Kendall and DuPage county. Not an easy task. Started with Cullerton crew in ‘12 obviously has figured out how to win swing seats. Also Senate plus one House down one.


  7. - Pickups - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 6:32 am:

    Jonathon Nelson on Seth Lewis’ campaign. Dropped everything to work on the campaign and was thoughtful, discipline and lead an impressive ground game despite a global pandemic.

    Honorable mention to Sean Lynch who helped Chris Bos get over the finish line.


  8. - Out Here In The ‘Field - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:06 am:

    Jon Maxson for HDems. He leads their oppo research team and is tireless. Maxson represents how HDems win by outworking you behind the scenes. He also spends a lot of time with candidates helping hone their message.

    Seconding Nick Gianinni for SDems for flipping Oberweis’s senate seat.


  9. - Scoop - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 10:11 am:

    HDEMS- Bill Gorski. Went from Mayfield in the primary to Benton and worked the long hours without a complaint.
    SDEMS- Michael Bailey, worked on Cappel then transferred to Bennett and told to throw together a campaign with less than 40 days. I don’t think many people would drop everything and move across the state.


  10. - Cannibro - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 11:43 am:

    HDEMS- I second Tiffany Moy and I think enough good things have been said here.

    SDEM- Nick Gianinni, flipped a republican seat during one of the hardest seasons to build name recognition, while the former incumbent was at the top of the ticket. Also, with that win he pushed the senate dems to 41 members.


  11. - Tardy for the party - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 1:01 pm:

    Please consider my late seconding of Jon Maxson’s nomination for the House Democrats. Not only does he head their OR team, but he also handles their direct mail all while leading the communications shop putting out newsletters, press releases, talking points, and probably 100 things I don’t even know about. It all gets 100% from him. He is nonstop, and also a genuinely good friend (although he’ll deny it).


  12. - Lakeview Democrat - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 8:05 pm:

    As a former House Democratic staffer who worked beside Jon Maxson, I say that a Golden Horseshoe for him is long overdue. He is a one man machine. It’s not easy to produce compelling mail that actually moves poll numbers, but he has proven time and again he is a master of the craft. Equally challenging can be convincing candidates to stay on a winning message, but his ability to manage messaging and communications from the candidates themselves is also a big reason why DPI can often pull off narrow victories.

    Call this man at just about any hour of the day, and he will pick up the phone and have an actual conversation with you. You can always count on him to give you his all - whether that’s providing advice in a committee hearing to get the caucus’ message across or writing a press release from scratch on an issue that is important in a district.

    I can vouch for many in the DPI/ House Dem staff. Tiffany Moy is also great. But I feel like Jon’s dedication and what he offers the party has been so consistently great that too many have come to just take it for granted. I’m sure he has many years left in Springfield, and more recognition will continue to come, but let’s not let another year go by without giving him his due recognition.


  13. - SoyCity - Friday, Dec 11, 20 @ 11:48 pm:

    HDems - It’s impossible to overstate Jon Maxson’s impact on the staff. He is brilliant, kind, and outworks everyone without complaint. Jon is the heartbeat of DPI and the ideal mentor for new staff members looking to make a difference. There isn’t a single member (elected or on staff) who hasn’t benefited from Jon’s unwavering commitment to his craft. Jon may not seek recognition, but no one is more deserving of praise.


  14. - I'mJustHereForTheHorseshoes - Saturday, Dec 12, 20 @ 9:11 am:

    HDem: Tiffany Moy. She is, and always has been, an absolute campaign machine. She deserves all the praise she receives plus more.

    SDem: Nick Gianinni for the aforementioned reasons.


  15. - Gohawks123 - Saturday, Dec 12, 20 @ 10:50 am:

    HDEMS- Allie McNamara, Really brought it home for Katie Stuart when the rest of Madison County went red; Katies didn’t, which goes to McNamara and Stuart.

    Senate Dems: Kennan Irish. He ran Koehler’s race, and he did a fantastic job. Great guy and always works hard.


  16. - Suburban Operative - Sunday, Dec 13, 20 @ 7:11 am:

    SDems - I hope this is the same Michael Bailey who got his start with Tom Cullerton. So glad to see Bailey on the campaign trail this cycle. I’ve met him during the 2016 cycle. He is going places; keep your eyes on him. I nominate Bailey for SDems.

    Hon. Mention for SDems - Gotta go with Nick G, another Tom Cullerton guy. The Oberweis district leans R on the generic ballot. Villa and Nick worked hard to flip it, despite money and 2 key staff from SGOP to prop up Janette Ward. Kudos to Nick!

    HDems - Amos and Moy would be good for this nomination and Hon Mention. However Moy won it a few years ago. They are definitely key staff. They appeared on the A1’s for multiple candidates this cycle, including TCH and Pappas. Why? Because you put your best people on the harder jobs. Good work, all!


  17. - Route 14 - Sunday, Dec 13, 20 @ 2:54 pm:

    HDEMS – Kylie Kelly, who oversaw some of the top races this cycle and helped secure two of the three pickups for the House Dems. She has worked in nearly every part of the House Dems operation, including writing and recruitment and as a campaign lead/regional on some of their toughest races. She is one of the few staff members that has guided and managed candidates from the time they first decided to run until after they are inaugurated. Kylie is a true professional who is always organized, calm, responsive, and does her job with zero ego. She has definitely earned this from her years of political work and success in this last cycle in challenging circumstances.

    SDEMS – Miles Sodowski. He’s a workhorse, team player and has a great sense of humor. Has proved himself as someone willing to take on any task and has worked in some incredibly challenging political environments during the last couple of cycles.


  18. - That One in Stratton - Sunday, Dec 13, 20 @ 6:10 pm:

    I think an election season unlike any is the right time to recognize Jon Maxson as a consistent force for the House Dems. Others have mentioned his role with the HDems research and mail. He has been doing that for some time. If you turned on a TV this year you saw the the part his work played in the wins against Wehrli, Skillicorn, and Cabello.

    Having worked with him I also want to highlight how Maxson goes above and beyond to enhance the DPI and the House Dem staff as a whole. He is a feature of DPI’s candidate trainings. Many of these candidates are in their first time running for anything and they are often nervous about talking with reporters and voters. His down to earth approach and confidence gives candidates confidence. He will always make time in a full schedule to talk with them and help them. Even if the HDems are not working the race. Members call him for perspective before interviews and know they will get a thoughtful response. He often knows their voting records better than they do.

    A lot of former staff now in their next act have seen how he goes out of his way to help them get answers. And he is a mentor and role model for new staff with a great instinct for when to teach, when to let someone figure it out, and when to lead by example.

    The House Dems win as a team so during a campaign where everything was different Jon Maxson’s consistent excellence stands large.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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