IL conservatives could find themselves forced to vote for a candidate in the general they didn't support in the primary. It's happened before in Illinois as the following piece, written by the Tribune's Thomas Hardy and Daniel Egler, retells. The story may prompt deja vu in November 2010. From the October 4, 1990 Chicago Tribune:
One of the anomalies of this year's campaign for Illinois governor was brought into sharp focus this week by the kind of endorsement Republican Jim Edgar received from the leader of a conservative GOP group.
Its backhanded delivery and absence of a firm ideological motivation underscored the fact that both Edgar and his Democratic opponent, Neil Hartigan, have problems coalescing their base, partisan constituencies.
Steven Baer, president of the conservative United Republican Fund, told the audience at the organization's annual fundraising dinner Tuesday night that Edgar should be elected in order to prevent Democrats from controlling the legislative and congressional redistricting process next year.
Baer has been at odds with Edgar for more than a year and ran against the second-term secretary of state in the March gubernatorial primary. Edgar's stands favoring extension of the state income tax surcharge and abortion rights are contrary to those of most conservative Republicans.
After responding to Hartigan's efforts to warm up to conservatives with an anti-tax message by warning, "Neil Hartigan cannot be trusted," he also reminded the audience of Edgar's perceived shortcomings.
"It's no secret that those on this dais have expressed strong differences" with Edgar's positions on taxes and abortion, Baer said, gesturing to a head table of prominent conservatives and several of Edgar's GOP ticketmates.
"Our Illinois Republican Party must retain the governor's office in this crucial redistricting year," Baer continued, explaining his invitation to Edgar, who was forced to cool his heels for nearly an hour before being called to the dais, and call for support.
An appreciative Edgar, who just a year ago had dismissed elements of Baer's early support as a "fringe" group of the GOP, pledged to the audience "an open-door policy" on matters of disagreement.
Then-Secretary of State Jim Edgar went on to win the 1990 gubernatorial race, and was re-elected again in 1994. George Ryan won the office in 1998, and after that Rod Blagojevich in 2002 and 2006.