Minority House Leader Tom Cross is looking at a 2014 bid for Attorney General. The decision is a big one. If Cross runs for AG, he'll need to walk away from his House leadership position. A statement from his political office this weekend said much depends on a Democrat - Attorney General Lisa Madigan and whether or not she will run for re-election in 2014.
"[Cross] has been asked to consider running for Attorney General by Republican Leaders from across the state and he is listening to what they have to say and will evaluate his options should Lisa Madigan decide not to seek re-election," an email from political director Kevin Artl said. "But right now, he is devoting his time and energy towards recruiting candidates and raising funds in preparation for the 2014 House Republican campaign program."
ILGOP statewide candidates that either won or came close to winning in 2010 were those with notoriety, networks and resources. Gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady came close to winning with nearly $18 million from the Republican Governors Association, and State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and State Comptroller Judy Baar-Topinka handily won open seats over their Democrat rivals.
The two Democrat statewide incumbents in 2010 were Secretary of State Jesse White and Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Their Republican challengers - businessman Robert Enriquez and attorney Steven Kim - didn't come close to victory. White won over Enriquez by 42 points and Madigan won over Kim by 33 points.
So unless Lisa Madigan and Jesse White decide not to run for re-election in 2014 (White will be 79 years old Monday), it's unlikely any serious ILGOP candidate will run for either post. But if Madigan decides to go for governor, the AG slot would be open for competition.
Saturday, IR contributor Chris Robling suggested Urbana native Erika Harold run for AG. Other persons whose names have been circulated for the spot are State Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Westchester) and Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran.
Since State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is running for the 2014 GOP gubernatorial bid, his treasurer seat will be open. Former DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom and DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan have declared their interests in succeeding Rutherford.
State Comptroller Judy Baar-Topinka is now 69 years old, and may be considering retirement before a 2014 re-election bid. If she decides against another re-election campaign, her seat would be open.
UPDATE 10:40 am: That's not going to happen in 2014, Topinka spokesman Brad Hahn wants IR readers to know. "She's 100% in the race for 2014, and she's consistently said that, although we've not put out a formal statement. While everyone else is waiting for others to move, she's in for 2014."
Developments are expected in these races over the next few weeks, as campaign fundraisers ramp up and petitions begin to circulate after Labor Day in preparation for the March 2014 primary.