It’s fairly unusual for the Chicago Sun Times, Teamsters, Illinois Education Association, Illinois Federation for Right to Life and the Illinois State Rifle Association to agree on anything, but each have endorsed Will County Commissioner Terri Ann Wintermute to fill the 42nd District vacancy State Senator Ed Petka is leaving behind.
This week, Senator Petka (R-Plainfield) is expected to lend his highly-respected name and reputation in an endorsement mailing for his fellow Republican. Rather than run for re-election, Petka has opted to retire from the Senate and run for a Will County judgeship.
But the Democrats are not conceding the race to a Republican successor. In recent days, Democratic Senate President Emil Jones (D-Chicago) has dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into Kane County Board member Linda Holmes’ campaign. Local GOP leaders say Jones wants to expand his Democratic control into Will County, where in 2004, a Democrat, former State Senator Larry Walsh, was elected Will County Board President.
Holmes’ differs dramatically from Wintermute in social issues, as substantiated by campaign donations from Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion Personal PAC.
Wintermute says she started in politics volunteering for local candidates. Her activism led to running for school boards and county board. She and her husband Phil, married for almost 30 years, have raised three children in the area. She worked as a legislative aide to State Rep. Jim Meyer.
After her father’s death four years ago, Wintermute stepped into serving on her family’s trucking company board of directors. She recently netted their employees' Teamster Union local support. She also has been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and is supported by the Illinois Education Association.
The 42nd District is located in prominently-conservative and Republican Will County. While all Chicago’s collar counties are undergoing demographic changes and a couple of key Will County offices slid into the Democratic column two years ago, the 42nd District’s political base continues to lean Republican.
Wintermute raised over $200,000 before the October 8 campaign filing date, and over $80,000 in the past month. Wintermute has mailed out over twenty targeted messages, and has played a tough and well-organized ground game in the past month.
Wintermute was picked to be one of the United Republican Fund’s “Six in ‘06” candidates and last month, the URF brought former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich into Chicago to raise funds for their featured candidates.
The URF, a conservative-leaning independent political action committee separate from the state Republican Party, indicates on its website they have raised $10,000 this campaign for Wintermute thus far.
Conservatives reportedly are looking to Wintermute to lead in the Republican Senate women’s caucus.
Other IR postings on Terri Ann Wintermute: