Quincy mayoral field was at two, then went to three, but now back at two … for now

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This image was taken from Robert Turek's now-defunct Facebook page and website.

The next consolidated election in Illinois — where citizens vote in races for city government, school boards and park boards — will be on April 1, 2025.

Boy, if there’s not a joke to be had somewhere in there.

Former Quincy alderman Dan Brink was the first candidate to officially declare his intention to run for mayor in October of last year. Mayor Mike Troup then declared his intention to run for re-election last month after originally saying he would have a decision last August.

Former city treasurer Linda Moore, a Democrat, also has said she could “potentially” run for mayor.

Then we have Robert Turek.

Turek, a former WGEM videographer, lost his job when he refused to follow Gray Media policy and get the COVID-19 vaccine. He now works for a local credit union and has his own video business.

Turek announced last week on Facebook his intention to run for mayor. He then began weighing in on many issues by tagging the Muddy River News Facebook feed and commenting.

From the now-defunct Robert Turek for Mayor Facebook page.

He even had a website: turekforquincymayor.org.

When your job kind of involves covering politics in Quincy, and a guy says he’s running for mayor on a social media platform and goes to the trouble to create a website saying as much … you should reach out to him, right?

If this person has gone to all of this trouble, you would think he would want to talk with a reporter who writes about this stuff in the community, right?

Well, you would be wrong.

Muddy River News previously has done business with Turek. He openly talked about his dismissal from WGEM for standing up for his rights, and he’s taken drone footage for us. We have a cordial relationship.

But as fast as he dipped his toe in the mayoral pond, he pulled it out like a snapping turtle was after him.

The bold/italics are our text chain which started Monday and continued Tuesday. The non-highlighted portions are my pithy commentary.

GOUGH: Running for mayor? You should probably tell the media. Let me know when you want to chat.

Now see, this is sage advice from an old political hand. Discuss your intentions with a news outlet after you’ve made your announcement on social media and created your website. I used to get paid for giving this kind of counsel. (Not Mike McClain political consulting dollars, but you get the idea.)

TUREK: Still in the formative stages, building support. I’ll put out an official press release if I feel I have a confident backing or raise $5K, whichever comes first.

I asked him to keep me posted, but upon discussion with colleagues at the Muddy River world headquarters, I decided to follow up the next day. (I did not tell him that if he was serious about running, he would need to raise 20 times that amount. Again, the meter’s gonna run for that kind of insight.)

GOUGH: You actually did announce on your Facebook page, you know?

TUREK: Isn’t there more important news?

Well, sure there is. War, death, conquest and famine … but this is sleepy little Quincy. We have a lower bar.

GOUGH: Someone publicly saying they are running for mayor should be taken seriously.

And you were glomming onto our Facebook page and its nearly 22,000 followers to opine on city issues.

TUREK: Agreed. After I file, I’ll reach out to you.

But I’m reaching out to you now…

GOUGH: You created a Facebook page. And you have a website.

TUREK: And a long time until the election.

You’re less than a year out. Even shorter if you are going to be in a primary. I didn’t even get around to asking his party affiliation, not wanting assume it even though he didn’t take the vaccine. Plus two other guys have already announced.

GOUGH: We’re probably going to run something soon. I’ll give you a heads up, but you should get something prepared, or we can quote your Facebook page.

TUREK:

Three hours later, I received this:

TUREK: After careful consideration and meaningful conversations with members of our community, I have decided to suspend my campaign for now. Instead, I will focus on getting more deeply involved in local government, understanding our city’s needs, and working tirelessly to serve our residents. This decision comes from a place of dedication and a desire to make a meaningful impact. I look forward to continuing to work towards positive change and considering a future run when the time is right. Thank you for your support and understanding.

GOUGH: Sounds good. Thanks.

So were these “meaningful conversations” held during this three-hour window? The website and Facebook pages were taken down during that span as well.

turekforquincymayor.org is no longer active.

Well, I told him I was going to run something, so here it is. To “suspend” a campaign implies that it could be resurrected, although the intensity of the launch doesn’t foreshadow much of a chance of that happening.

Until the Turek campaign comes out of suspended animation, or Moore or some other Democrat files to run (odds on either of those remain long), it looks like the incumbent, Mike Troup, and the challenger, Dan Brink, will run in the February 2025 GOP primary to see who makes it to April Fools’ Day … otherwise known as Quincy’s next mayoral general election (Sometimes the material sometimes writes itself).

Look, it’s admirable that Turek wants to serve. But running for mayor right out of the gate with zero previous elected experience or a deep resume within the community is an uphill climb. Serve on a committee or two. Run for alderman or County Board, Park Board or School Board. That’s really the place to get your feet wet.

Plus, there are fewer snapping turtles in those ponds.

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