Tuesday’s Illinois primary has some drama, but probably minimal impact

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QUINCY — Yes, there is a primary election in Illinois on Tuesday.

Fifteen percent of the registered voters in Adams County might vote in it. Maybe.

I won’t be voting in this primary. I have made the decision to no longer participate in party politics in any manner, including as a campaign manager or candidate, because of what we are doing here at Muddy River News.

Of course, we’ll take your political advertising dollars here at Muddy River.

My only caveat is if I have a family member running for office, I will grab a ballot for whatever party they might be in.

And that’s not beyond the realm of possibility, although a certain press secretary who I watched being born seems perfectly happy in his current role. Toss in two other kids who are certainly smart and capable and who knows what the future may hold?

I can safely say Ellen Duffy-Gough will not be running for office. Ever.

As of Monday, the Adams County Clerk’s office reports there have been 1,197 early voters and 857 mail-in voters. There have been 1,169 Republican ballots submitted and 605 Democrat ballots submitted.

There is one countywide contested race and that is for 99th District State Representative where Kyle Moore of Quincy is up against Eric Snellgrove of Beardstown. That race touches parts of Adams, Brown, Cass, Schuyler and Morgan Counties.

Adams County also has three Republican County Board primary contests and several interesting precinct committeeman (PC) battles.

In County Board District 2, the incumbent Mark Sorenson faces a challenge from Douglas Kendrick. In District 3, James Fisher is challenging long-time incumbent Dave Bellis and in District 7, former Sheriff Brent Fischer (who served in that capacity as a Democrat from 1998 to 2015) is the Republican County Board incumbent against challenger David Arns.

In the never-ending saga between “Tea Party” and “Country Club” Republicans (that’s what we’re going to call them here for identification purposes), there are 23 contested races for these PC positions out of the county’s 80 precincts. The Democrats have 0 contested PC races.

But Adams County Republicans also have 75 of their PC slots on the ballot whereas the Democrats have 8 of 80. The GOP takes these positions seriously.

What are precinct committeemen supposed to do?

  • Attend the party’s Central Committee meetings.
  • Become a voter registrar and recruit new voters.
  • Appoint and fill vacancies of election judges for your precinct’s polling location.
  • Circulate petitions for candidates prior to the primary.
  • Canvass your precinct in support of our candidates.
  • Promote early voting and absentee voting.
  • Recruit poll watchers for election day and early voting.
  • Identify potential financial supporters and new party members.
  • Be an advocate for the interests of the voters in your precinct.

In Adams County, the two sides have been warring for years. The Tea Partiers see the Country Clubbers as “RINO’s” (Republicans in Name Only), not pure enough to lead our country to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness or only using government for their own benefit, while the County Clubbers see the Tea Partiers as obstructionist do-nothings who would be just fine if the government dissolved…or was overthrown.

The Tea Partiers have attempted purges the last couple of times and here we are again. There are a couple of “party elders” who have attempted to bridge the divide and they are usually told to go pound sand, because they no longer have the cache they once had. Of course, the bridging efforts are merely a self-serving attempt to grasp at what they feel is a slipping grip they may have once had on the local party structure.

The local party has stepped up to support many of the incumbent “Country Club” PC’s in these races and that has further infuriated the “Tea Party” crowd. Scroll through Facebook if you want more details, because this is merely the “victors getting the spoils” or otherwise known as the “advantage of incumbency.”

You don’t like it? There’s a way to fix it.


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