Plenty of Republican Lt. Governor choices exist for 2014
In 2010, the Illinois legislature enacted a new law that now mandates gubernatorial candidates to pick their own running mate. Before 2010, candidates that wanted the Lieutenant Governor position would run in a primary and the top vote getter would be added to the top vote getter for the primary for governor. In 2010, that left the Republicans with a Bill Brady/Jason Plummer ticket and the Democrats with a Pat Quinn/Scott Lee Cohen. Democrat Scott Lee Cohen later dropped out of the race and decided to run for governor as an Independent. Because of the Cohen mess Illinois changed the law, which will now allow the candidates to decide instead of the voters.
There are plenty of Republicans lining up to be a good choice for Lt. Governor. Below are a few we decided to highlight, in no particular order.
Erika Harold- Erika is from Champaign and is a graduate of Harvard University’s Law School. She is well known for being Miss America in 2003, but she does have a share of political experience as well. She was the Youth Director during the 2002 Republican gubernatorial primary campaign of Patrick O’Malley. In 2004, she served as a delegate at the Republican National Convention and in 2012 she even threw her name in the hat during the selection process of former-Congressman Tim Johnson’s seat.
Matt Murphy- Murphy is State Senator from the 27th district (Palatine). He lost a very close race to Jason Plummer for Lt. Governor last time in 2010 and could be right back in the mix this time. His current term expires in 2014 because of redistricting rules, so if he decides to run for a statewide office he may not have the state senate on which to fall back. Also, he could be a candidate for governor or another statewide office yet still.
Jason Plummer- Another strong name from Southern Illinois is Jason Plummer. He was the 2010 nominee for Lt. Governor and the 2012 Republican nominee in the 12th Congressional District. A lot of questions remain though. Will Jason run for Congress again? Will he have a gubernatorial campaign of his own? Or will he choose to take an election cycle off? Time will tell.
Dan Duffy- Duffy is the State Senator from the 26th District (sections of Lake, McHenry, and Cook counties) and would be a strong choice from the suburbs. Rumors have Duffy considering a bid for another statewide office. An advantage that Duffy has is that he is not up for re-election for his State Senate seat until 2016.
Demetra DeMonte- She is currently the Republican National Committee’s secretary is from Pekin, IL and has served in that role since January of 2011. DeMonte would bring the spotlight of the national party to the race, which could help her potential running mate significantly.
Steve Kim- Steve was the 2010 Republican candidate for Attorney General. Steve, who has a legal background and an impressive job resume, travels the world often on business and some wonder if he has time to run for Lt. Governor. He is young and smart and might be a good choice for a downstate candidate like Dan Rutherford.
Kyle McCarter- McCarter is the current State Senator from the 54th District (Vandalia). He, like Matt Murphy, has a term that will come to a close at the end of 2014. If he decides to run statewide he may not have a state senate seat to return to. McCarter ran against Christine Radogno for Senate Minority Leader this year but lost. He is a successful small business owner and has been a good conservative voice and has a bright future within the party. He is a good pick if a candidate is looking for someone from Southern Illinois.
Sam McCann- McCann is the State Senator from the 50th District (Jacksonville). McCann’s term doesn’t end until 2016 so he has the senate as a fallback in case a statewide bid is unsuccessful. McCann, a small business owner, is another good Southern Illinois option for the candidates. Some rumors have him running for a different statewide office but only time will tell.
Patrick Hughes-Here is a wild card pick. Mr. Hughes ran for Senate in 2010 against Mark Kirk in the GOP primary. He struggled to gain traction but he did build some relationships along the way. One potential candidate that might look his way could be Dan Proft, as they have been seen at events together. Hughes could also give it another go for Senate in 2014.