Brink responds to Troup announcement; now we have a race for mayor

TROUP BRINK

Mayor Mike Troup and former alderman Dan Brink.

QUINCY — The 2025 Illinois consolidated primary is 351 days away.

We still have the 2024 primary to get through on March 19 and the general election on November 5. But we now know we have at least two Republicans running to be Quincy’s next mayor.

The incumbent, Mike Troup, made it official Monday morning while former Republican alderman Dan Brink kicked his off last September.

Brink sent out a statement regarding Troup’s decision:

This morning, current Quincy Mayor Mike Troup publicly announced that he is seeking re-election next April.

The last three years of the Troup administration have been full of turmoil and chaos at City Hall and in our city. The common themes have been a lack of communication, lack of respect, an overall lack of leadership and an environment of chaos and conflict. These themes ran through City Hall and through city government as a whole.

The Dan Brink administration will be focused on why Quincy is a great place to live and to raise a family. However, it will be important to compare and contrast the last three years of the current administration with my goal of uniting people to create positive outcomes.

Having served as the 6th Ward alderman for eight years from 2009 to 2017, I understand how to work collaboratively to accomplish the goals of the city. My experience as an alderman will allow me the insight to create an environment within the city that is productive and rewarding. Building a cohesive team and accepting everyone’s opinion will produce results for everyone doing business with and for the city of Quincy.

As mayor, I will work every day to ensure that we promote an atmosphere of cohesiveness, mutual respect, two-way communication, decisive leadership and a shared vision for our great city. I will work to make this positive atmosphere the way we conduct city business, the way we operate at City Hall, with city staff, with our fellow elected representatives, the people we meet on behalf of the city, but most importantly, with the citizens we represent.

The time for operating in an atmosphere of chaos and conflict will and must end. I am ready to lead our city and accept the responsibility of uniting the City of Quincy. We will all need to pull together to meet the obstacles that we face today and will face tomorrow. We are always stronger together.

I’m excited to accept this challenge and serve every citizen of Quincy as your mayor. I pledge to work with, and listen to, anyone who has the same goal of uniting this city and moving us forward.

I, for one, had no idea if Troup would go for a second term. He has gotten some things done, as he mentioned in last week’s State of the City address and reiterated Monday morning, but he also has had conflicts with aldermen (remember the vote of no confidence?) and others — specifically the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, which he is one seat away from completely overhauling if/when he replaces Barry Cheyne. (Angela Caldwell and Mike McGlaughlin have replaced Steve Meckes and Kerry Anders during Troup’s first term.)

Bickering between aldermen and mayors is nothing new. You’d have to go back to Chuck Scholz’s term when the three-term Democrat mayor had a Democratic majority on the City Council and the Quincy media in his pocket for there to be relative tranquility. Scholz also had strong directors of administrative services who kept aldermen in line, except for intraparty squabbles with late 1st Ward alderman Virgil Goehl, who also was the chairman of the Adams County Democratic Central Committee during the late 1990s-early 2000s.

And, of course, 4th Ward alderman Mike Farha has yelled at every mayor, regardless of party affiliation.

The City Council began a shift to the GOP after the election of President Barack Obama in 2008 and the birth of the Tea Party movement shortly thereafter. Democrat John Spring was mayor at the time and eventually had to deal with GOP majority in the city’s legislative body before Kyle Moore became Quincy’s first Republican mayor in nearly 30 years. Moore ended Spring’s bid for a third term in 2013 after Spring had dispatched former Republican mayor C. David Nuessen and County Board member Dave Bellis in 2005 and 2009, respectively.

Three years ago, Troup edged former alderman Paul Havermale by 26 votes in the Republican mayoral primary before defeating Democrat Nora Baldner in the general election. Next year’s primary against Brink could be similarly close. No Democrat has yet to announce, but any D who does will be a serious underdog in GOP-dominant Quincy/Adams County.

Troup hasn’t raised any money since he was elected, but he still has a $30,000 lead over Brink according to their latest campaign finance reports. Troup significantly outraised both Havermale and Baldner last time around and still has the business contacts to quickly rebuild his war chest.

Republican party elders such as Nuessen, former Sheriff Bob Nall, current Sheriff Tony Grootens and Director of Administrative Services (and former state representative) Jeff Mays were on hand this morning. However, it’s difficult to tell how the GOP support will line up. Troup smartly held his announcement on the heels of the weekly local party coffee klatch at American Legion Post 37, where he was welcomed by a captive audience.

Troup’s tone Monday morning showed this was not a decision he took lightly following consultation with his family and other members of his inner circle. He rightly pointed out the fractured political climate we have, both at home and abroad. Social media ramps dialogue up to 11, and each side is armed with its own “alternative facts,” making an agreement on the color of the sky impossible.

Yeah, that’s all great for clicks and Web traffic. (The publisher writes owning a feeling of chagrin while accepting that sometimes, business is still business.)

For the good of the community, the dialogue for the next 11 1/2 months should be about this city’s direction without all of the name-calling and noise that is far too prevalent in our politics.

But I won’t hold my breath.

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