by Mark Rhoads
Last Wednesday I was at the U.S. Capitol to see new members of Congress from Illinois sworn in and go to a reception for the Illinois delegagtion. Since I have a modest reputation in obscure circles as a historian of Illinois politics, Congressman-elect Joe Walsh asked me who I thought was the best GOP governor of Illinois in the last one hundred years. I instantly said Gov. Frank Lowden who led the from 1917 to 1921.
But then we altered the criteria a little to focus on who could do the best job helping the state financially. So I had to change my answer and said the best GOP governor was a Democrat. I am talking about Gov. Henry Horner who was elected in 1932 during the FDR landslide and started office in January 1933. He was the best fiscal manager, and one of the most honest men ever to hold the office.