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*** UPDATED x1 *** Two incumbent Senators hand over seats to favored replacements without an appointment

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I told subscribers about this yesterday. Politico

Two incumbent state senators appear ready to retire, conveniently leaving their seats open for close friends and family members who turned in petition signatures on the last filing day yesterday.

State Sens. Antonio Muñoz and Steve Landek are listed as candidates for the 1st and the 11th districts, respectively, but so are two of their buddies.

Muñoz’s son-in-law and former campaign manager Javier Loera Cervantes, filed at the last minute to run for the 1st District seat that his father-in-law has held since 1999.

Political insiders call it a shrewd move that would see Muñoz drop out of the race, allowing Cervantes to get on the ballot with no competition for the June 28 primary.

Cervantes, who was taken aback that Playbook would point out the icky optics of him sliding into Muñoz’s seat, said: “Everybody has their opinion. I’m just looking forward to serving if that comes my way.”

Similarly, Landek is expected to step aside to allow his chief of staff, Mike Porfirio, who also filed signatures on the last day, to win the seat. Neither Landek nor Muñoz returned Playbook’s calls or texts for comment.

Political insiders expect the veteran lawmakers want out of politics after seeing their associates operate close to the legal edge.

Bill Lipinski dropped out after the primary and had his kid appointed to the ballot. I don’t recall yesterday’s maneuver being used in the past, but maybe some of y’all have seen this before. As long as no other candidate files, it’s kinda foolproof. And the reformers are gonna absolutely hate this, but I’m not sure you can create a rule to stop this from happening.

Your thoughts?

*** UPDATE *** This has happened at least once before. Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) filed to run for reelection on November 25, 2019, the same day that his Republican friend Win Stoller filed his petitions. No other Republican filed in the district before petition filing season closed on December 2, 2019. In January, Sen. Weaver announced his retirement and the local media never batted a single eyelash

State Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) announced Thursday he’s retiring at the end of his term.

In his place, Widmer Fabrics CEO Win Stoller will fill the Republican nomination for the district, which stretches from Peoria to Galesburg.

“With Central Illinois at a turning point, everyone must serve where they can cause positive change,” Weaver said in a statement. “I believe I can now make the most positive impact closer to home by serving my community in a different position of service.”

Weaver then maxed out to Stoller with a $53,700 contribution.

       

36 Comments
  1. - BigLou - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 8:17 am:

    Didn’t Luis Gutierrez and Chuy Garcia do the same thing for the congressional seat or something similar.


  2. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 8:21 am:

    A good lesson - if you want the seat, run, don’t wait for an open primary.


  3. - Unionman - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 8:23 am:

    It’s a shrewd move but that’s insider baseball. There is always the option to run a write in candidates


  4. - The Captain - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 8:26 am:

    We had seen some near examples in the recent past. For example I believe that Ald. Brookins had previously filed in IL-01 out of a fear that Rush would try a similar maneuver and I believe that Sen. Hastings had previously filed for SOS out of a fear that White might do the same.


  5. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 8:26 am:

    I find it less distasteful than the Lipinski move, I guess.


  6. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 8:26 am:

    Suggests the “reformers” (whoever they are) did not have theirs ears to the ground. Mr/Ms Chicagonk said it best.


  7. - H-W - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 8:28 am:

    In my Representative district (the 94th), Rich Myers ran in 2010 despite having a terminal illness, I believe. He won, and then passed away, three weeks later. His replacement was his legislative assistant, Norine Hammond. That always struck me as an odd way to achieve office.


  8. - The Opinions Bureau - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 8:31 am:

    Short of dropping or scaling back petition collection and submission requirements, I dunno how you avoid stuff like this.


  9. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 8:33 am:

    I don’t see the issue here. The candidate did the work just like any other candidate would have to in order to get on the ballot. It is open and transparent and if someone else wanted to run for the seat, they could have done the work and thrown their own hat into the ring. Complainers are going to complain though.


  10. - ddp76 - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 8:34 am:

    Shrewd move. If it hasn’t happened all that much, I expect that moving forward it will become more prevalent now that someone has drawn the how-to diagram.


  11. - uialum - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 8:36 am:

    Maybe you can require someone to file with the state once they start circulating petitions instead of waiting until they’ve spent a certain amount of money? That way everyone will know immediately about petitions being circulated instead of finding out at the last minute.


  12. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 8:47 am:

    === Maybe you can require someone to file with the state once they start circulating petitions instead of waiting until they’ve spent a certain amount of money? That way everyone will know immediately about petitions being circulated instead of finding out at the last minute. ===

    If you are a serious candidate it shouldn’t matter who else is running.


  13. - The Hills 60010 - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 8:49 am:

    Rot. Those into this enjoy for fiefdom reform is coming.


  14. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 9:03 am:

    =It is open and transparent and if someone else wanted to run for the seat, they could have done the work and thrown their own hat into the ring=

    These types of power transfers are clearly orchestrated at the Ward/Township organization level. So saying it is open and transparent is a bit disingenuous.


  15. - Chito - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 9:05 am:

    “If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it”.

    If you believe that you’re the best candidate for the office, then run.


  16. - ddp76 - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 9:07 am:

    Great Op Ed in the Trib today on COVID in nursing homes here and abroad.

    https://www.chicagotribune.com/opinion/commentary/ct-opinion-covid-19-nursing-home-elderly-deaths-20220314-saig5xv5bbgfxiitrvvtoqzzpu-story.html


  17. - ddp76 - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 9:08 am:

    Wrong tab. Sorry… Rich please remove prior at 9:07


  18. - The Hills 60010 - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 9:10 am:

    - Hannibal Lecter - “If you are a serious candidate it shouldn’t matter who else is running.”

    Surely you jest?


  19. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 9:14 am:

    === These types of power transfers are clearly orchestrated at the Ward/Township organization level. So saying it is open and transparent is a bit disingenuous. ===

    Anyone could have filed petitions just like Cervantes or Porfirio. They didn’t. To imply there is some sort of shenanigans here is disingenuous. So the current office holder attempted to have a say in who their successor would be? Lets all clutch the pearls.


  20. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 9:17 am:

    === - Hannibal Lecter - “If you are a serious candidate it shouldn’t matter who else is running.”

    Surely you jest? ===

    No. Are you trying to say that someone who would not be interested in running against Munoz or Landek would all of a sudden be chomping at the bit to run against Cervantes or Porfirio? Don’t you think that Landek and Munoz will use their resources/organizations to help their guy(s)? Either you are destined to run or you aren’t. It shouldn’t make a difference which one of these candidates is running.


  21. - The Hills 60010 - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 9:20 am:

    - Hannibal Lecter -”Anyone could have filed petitions just like Cervantes or Porfirio. They didn’t. To imply there is some sort of shenanigans here is disingenuous. So the current office holder attempted to have a say in who their successor would be? Lets all clutch the pearls.”

    Respectfully, this is how our IL Dem party finds its self in a state of to the bone rot. Hopefully the young are learning and will not allow repeats.


  22. - Google Is Your Friend - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 9:33 am:

    This was done with Marty Quinn and Frank Olivo.


  23. - Mockery - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 9:45 am:

    Madigan and two of his primary opponents spent 3 years and a million dollars litigating the “sham candidate” issue. Here the sham candidates would be Munoz and Landek.


  24. - Politix - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 10:02 am:

    Riverside women couldn’t be happier to see Landek go. He was a no vote on the IL Reproductive Health Act and a no-show for the ERA ratification. Thanks for nothing, Steve.


  25. - New Day - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 10:49 am:

    “Those into this enjoy for fiefdom reform is coming.”

    No it’s not.


  26. - Boomerang - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 10:56 am:

    Was also done when Celina Villanueva was appointed to fill Marty Sandoval’s seat and left Edgar Gonzalez on the ballot (her staff member) unopposed.


  27. - The old professor - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 11:37 am:

    Almost exactly ten years ago, Tim Johnson (IL-13) won the R primary and then resigned almost immediately, allowing Rodney Davis to be appointed as his replacement candidate. Davis beat David Gill by about 1000 votes, and if the DCCC had put more resources into the race, Gill would have won.


  28. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 11:38 am:

    ===allowing Rodney Davis to be appointed as his replacement candidate===

    And your point is? There was no appointment here.


  29. - The Hills 60010 - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 11:44 am:

    - New Day - “No it’s not.”

    One can HOPE. How long will WE allow these types of shenanigans?


  30. - Downstate - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 12:19 pm:

    “allowing Rodney Davis”

    I thought Johnson resigned in anticipation that his COS would be appointed. But the Republican County Chairman decided differently.


  31. - low level - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 12:42 pm:

    == Davis beat David Gill by about 1000 votes, and if the DCCC had put more resources into the race, Gill would have won==

    No. Gill was a dope who lost repeatedly.


  32. - cermak_rd - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 1:07 pm:

    The Lipinksi thing smelled to high heaven but this? I don’t see the issue. Anyone could have filed. What kind of reformer only runs for empty seats?


  33. - Chris in ChiTown - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 2:24 pm:

    Boomerang,

    Current State Representative Edgar Gonzalez held a position in US Representative Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s District Office. (Below is the biography website for State Representative Gonzalez.)

    https://www.ilga.gov/house/Rep.asp?GA=101&MemberID=2776


  34. - Illini Fan - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 4:31 pm:

    Four years ago, Jesse White was going to do the same thing for Walter Burnett but Mike Hastings also filed petitions stopping that plan.


  35. - Just Me 2 - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 5:51 pm:

    Because really — who cares about the voters in this game?


  36. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Mar 15, 22 @ 11:16 pm:

    ===State Sens. Antonio Muñoz and Steve Landek ===

    I cannot imagine spending a career serving the public to choose to exit elected office in such a fashion that demonstrates utter contempt for the constituents that you serve to use such maneuvering to treat your legislative seat like a fraternity or sorority will that you get to pass down to a chosen successor.

    An elected official that respects and values the constituents they serve will announce their retirement will in advance to permit an open primary. If they believe in one of the candidates in the primary they can endorse them and appeal to the voters of the district that their endorsement is important.

    This is a disgusting way to end one’s political career regardless of whether or not it is legal. It tells the voters of your district and the constituents you claimed to serve exactly how little you think of them and exactly how little you think of the democratic process to go along with a scheme like this.

    State Senators and State Representatives do not own the General Assembly. It belongs to the People of Illinois.

    Javier Loera Cervantes and Mike Porfirio should withdraw from the ballot and allow the process for slating a candidate in the respective districts to take place. At least we can pretend that the process is more democratic at its roots and I cannot imagine why two people would seek to begin their careers serving in the legislature with such a blatant scheme to subvert our democratic processes.

    Should they decline to withdraw their names from the ballot and wine the elections in November the Speaker should use his discretion to limit the role they serve in the legislature to the bare minimum and at no point in their term of office should they ever be considered for a position that even has a hint of leadership.

    The People of Illinois deserve better representation than what these two “clever” men can provide us.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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