BURR RIDGE - March 18 will be the first election for Jim Durkin since becoming House Minority Leader and head of the House Republican Organization (HRO). How he handles the primary pressure, and his political nemesis Dan Proft, may impact his future.
After taking the helm at HRO, Durkin appointed State Rep. Ed Sullivan to chair of the organization, despite Sullivan's controversial vote for same-sex marriage. Since then, HRO has spent over $160,000 to help incumbent State Rep. Ron Sandack in his primary race against Keith Matune who is backed by Dan Proft's Liberty Principles PAC. Like Sullivan, Sandack also voted for same-sex marriage.
Records show HRO's investment in Sandack to be an exception and not the rule. The organization has not been as generously involved in protecting other incumbents.
However, Durkin's own PAC - Citizens for Durkin - has recently funded 48th House District incumbent Sandy Pihos who is being primaried by Lombard city council member Peter Breen - another race Proft's PAC is involved in.
A recent mailer (below) funded by Citizens for Durkin highlights former Gov. Edgar's support of Pihos:
Like the Sandack/Matune and Pihos/Breen races, other contests like Mancke/Batinick seem to be pitting HRO against Liberty Principles PAC - or perhaps Jim Durkin against Dan Proft.
Whatever the case, Tuesday may reveal winners and loser off the ballot as well as those whose names appear on it.