GOUGH: Eyler announcement clears the deck for Adams County state’s attorney’s race


Quincy and Adams County Republicans jammed the lower level of Tower Pizza and Mexican Thursday night as Todd Eyler officially kicked off his campaign to be Adams County’s next state’s attorney.

The man currently holding that title, Gary Farha, officially handed the baton to his first assistant when he spoke before the partisan crowd.

Farha had a tough race in the 2016 Republican primary against Jennifer Cifaldi, but he ran unopposed in 2020. Now 11 months before the 2024 Republican primary, Eyler emerges as the clear front-runner with the only question being if anyone will step up to challenge.

Adams County Democrats have continued to struggle in local races, although they did pick up one narrow win when Ben Uzelac held his 7th Ward Quincy City Council seat by three votes earlier this month.

But Democrats lost a seat on the City Council when Republican Jake Reed defeated Patty Maples (the council will have a 10-4 GOP majority come Monday), Todd Duesterhaus has the lone D seat on the 21-member Adams County Board and Circuit Clerk Lori Geschwandner is the only member of the party to hold a countywide office in Adams. The party lost its other county seat when no Democrat ran for sheriff upon the retirements of Brian VonderHaar and then Rich Wagner. Republican Tony Grootens won the office unopposed.

Eyler praised his staff during his announcement and said he planned to keep it intact “when” he won, exuding the kind of confidence a candidate should have when launching a campaign. That staff includes assistant state’s attorney Jake Scholz, a Democrat, who one day could end up running for the office, but Scholz was at Thursday’s announcement in full support of his colleague and the man who could be his next boss.

Among the other staffers in attendance was Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Jones, who serves as the county’s lead trial attorney. Once seen as a rival to for the top job in the office, Jones and Eyler referred to each other as “brothers” during the event and look to continue to work together should Eyler win the job (until one of them possibly ends up getting a judicial appointment down the road. Throw Jake Scholz in the mix for that as well).

Eyler will be on this weekend’s edition of Muddy River News This Week for a full discussion about his plans for the office. The first question I asked him was why make the announcement now, 11 months before a Republican primary, and he responded “Why not?”

The announcement and Thursday night’s turnout plants Eyler’s flag for the office that he has made no secret for months that he wants.

Eyler said no one would outwork him in this race. Now it’s only a matter of if any opponent will emerge to make him break a sweat.

J. Robert Gough is the publisher of Muddy River News.

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