PALATINE - Even though GOP township committeemen have 30 days after September 15th to pick who will succeed State Senator Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), their choice has already been a hot topic among political circles in the northwest Chicago district.
As soon as Senator Murphy announced he would be resigning the Illinois General Assembly in order to assume a legislative counsel position with Mac Strategies, the five GOP committeemen in the Cook County townships of Palatine, Wheeling, Elk Grove, Maine and Barrington became the focus of attention.
Who would they choose to succeed Murphy, and would the choice also involve a possible shift in the GOP House Caucus?
Sources familiar with the situation tell Illinois Review that one of those committeemen is emerging as a top contender - Palatine Township GOP Committeeman Aaron Del Mar. Del Mar's own 41.67% of the weighted vote for the district places either himself or his choice at the top of the heap.
Del Mar - who recently stepped down as Cook County GOP Chairman - may already have been assured the support of Elk Grove Township Committeeman Art Niewiardowski, who has the 27th Senate district's third highest portion of the weighted vote at 16.38%.
If so, State Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Arlington Heights) or State Rep. David Harris (R-Mt. Prospect) may not have a chance to move to the Senate they both are interested in pursuing.
That would disappoint Wheeling Township GOP Committeeman Ruth O'Connell who, with 39.17%, holds the district's second-highest weighted vote.
"My first choice is David Harris to replace Senator Murphy," O'Connell told Illinois Review Monday. "Harris' previous time in the House, his public service with the National Guard here in Illinois and his time serving in Iraq shows a quality person to step in."
Others that have voiced interest in the open seat that will be up for election in 2018 are Rolling Meadows' Mayor Tom Rooney, Arlington Heights Trustee Joe Fawell and Palatine Supervisor Sharon John.
The other two townships in the district hold less than 3% of the weighted vote - Maine at 1.897% and Barrington at .81 percent.
IR will publish Del Mar's response to our query about the bid as soon as it comes in.