From the Sandy Johnson -
SPRINGFIELD, IL - When Democratic incumbent A.J. Wilhelmi resigned from his Senate seat last February, the presumption for Will County voters was that they would have the opportunity to fairly elect a candidate of their choosing this November. As Republican hopeful Sandy Johnson points out, however, this is not the case.
Despite stepping down, Wilhelmi is still on the ballot for the upcoming election—meaning that no one from within the Democratic Party can challenge him. Presumably, Wilhelmi will withdraw later this summer, allowing for the position to be appointed solely by the Democratic County Chairman.
“It’s inexcusable, both from a political perspective and from a moralistic standpoint,” says Johnson. “For the last five months, we’ve watched Wilhelmi, Walsh and McGuire play the ‘Resign, Appoint; Resign, Appoint’ game in Will County politics. But the future of this district shouldn’t be a game.”
With Wilhelmi’s name on the ballot, Johnson notes, the eventual candidate for the Democratic Party will not be a collectively-chosen individual—but rather, one chosen purely by an individual.
“It gives all the power to the [Democratic] County Chairman,” says Johnson. “Who needs to go out and meet the voters for honest debates when you can just play musical chairs with the family and not have to bother with that democracy stuff?”
As Johnson contends, Will County voters deserve transparency, and not the classic Chicago machine-style politics of House Speaker Mike Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton that voters have grown to abhor.
“Political courage is on the ballot this election,” Johnson concludes. “The business of expecting people to accept the status quo is over.”