Illinois holds primaries on Tuesday. Here are a few notes on the US senate and governorship candidates:
Of the Democrats running for governor, Dan Hynes has a slight lead over Governor Pat Quinn.
Local campaign ads on both sides seem to be focused on winning over black voters. Quinn ads unfairly blame Hynes for the Burr Oaks cemetery debacle. And Hynes has been running a 1987 recording of Harold Washington thoroughly trashing Pat Quinn as an incompetent.
On the Republican side, Kirk Dillard has a narrow lead over Andy McKenna and Bill Brady. Dillard was chief of staff to former Republican Governor Jim Edgar, one of the most popular politicians in modern Illinois history.
Dillard has been taking heat for his endorsement of Obama in the presidential election. McKenna is in a bit of hot water because of a Republican Party ethics investigation. While he was state Republican chairman, McKenna commissioned a poll including his own name using party money. Then he failed to disclose this to committee members. I'm not shocked. Andy McKenna has always given me a queasy feeling.
I think we need a break from Democrats in the governor's office, so I'm leaning toward Dillard. Here's the Sun-Times endorsement of Dillard.
In the US Senate primaries, the polls show Congressman Mark Kirk (R) and Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) leading in their respective primary races. Giannoulias has a commanding lead over Cheryle Jackson and David Hoffman.
On the Democratic side, I'd prefer to see former general inspector (Chicago) David Hoffman nominated. Hoffman is a newcomer and his biggest problem is that voters don't know him. Giannoulias has always seemed sleazy to me. Just a gut feeling, but I don't like him.
It might seem strange that I make so much of my gut feelings, but it's important to do so in Illinois politics. For as long as I can remember, before he was Governor, I thought Rod Blagojevich was slimy. I was aghast when he was elected governor. Of course, he had the advantage of running as a Democrat while the indictment of Republican governor George Ryan was in the works.
On the Republican side, Congressman Kirk leads a field of lesser known candidates. Kirk has been criticized for being more blue than red on many issues. That reflects the district he represents (economically conservative leaning, socially liberal leaning). Kirk is okay with me.
The trashiest moment in the campaign came when Andy Martin accused Mark Kirk of being gay. It was a dumb move. I don't know what state Martin thinks he's was running in, but few people here give a rat's ass about that. The result was that the Republican Party no longer recognizes Martin as a Republican candidate. Good for them.
Giannoulias versus Kirk will be a tough choice for me.