Help Choose Our Next Lieutenant Governor

by , posted on Monday, March 1st, 2010 at 10:02 am

I want to thank everyone who voted to elect me as the Democratic State Central Committeewoman for Illinois’ 14th District in this past February 2010 election.  If you voted for my opponent because you liked her platform better than mine, I would like to hear some of those ideas and I want you to know that I am also here to serve you.

When I ran for this seat, I had no idea that I would be in a position to help select the next Democratic nominee to run for Lieutenant Governor in Illinois.  After Scott Cohen won the nomination on February 2, a past arrest record was used to pressure him to step down. 

This decision by Mr. Cohen puts the 38 Democratic State Central Committeewomen and Committeemen in a unique position to help slate the Democratic nominee to run on the ticket with Governor Quinn.

I spoke to Governor Quinn about the issue the other day and he said, “we need to have a progressive Lt. Governor.”  I couldn’t agree more, but we also have to continue to ask, “who is going to tell it like it is, be honest with Illinois voters, and maintain some kind of moral compass in Springfield?”

I am only 1 of the 38 voices who will help make the selection and many of us are still uncertain as to what the process will be.  What I do know is that residents of the 14th Congressional District should have a say in this matter.  I am a firm believer in democracy and transparency so I want to communicate openly to residents of the 14th district as the process continues. 

I have been hearing from a number of candidates who want to run for Lt. Governor.  Some have submitted resumes and many have made calls or sent letters in the mail seeking my vote.   Below is a polling memo (put out by Mike Boland’s campaign) along with several other letters from potential candidates and their supporters.

In making the decision, I have decided to seek advice from three groups of people:


1)      Other Democratic Party Chairs in the 14th District

2)      The voters who elected me

3)      The progressive community and members of Progressive Democrats of America


I am going to use this website, as a place to post my letter, any correspondence from potential candidates, and as a place for people to offer suggestions. 


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5 Responses to “Help Choose Our Next Lieutenant Governor”

  1. barbz says:

    If the Democratic Party leadership usurps democracy by denying the votes cast during the Primary, the damage to both the process and the Party will be irreversible. For better or worse, the people, those the government and political parties have been created and empowered to serve, the people elected Scott Lee Cohen with 212,902 votes, roughly 26% of the electorate’s backing.

    The voters’ second choice was Al Turner, who garnered 22.3% of their votes. Although I did not personally vote for him, Turner’s success and, more importantly, the voters intentions must be honored.

    Dishonoring democracy for the sake of a “winning” or “electable” ticket would dismantle the very essence of our Democratic Republic, while forever staining the Democratic Party.

    • Jennifer Laesch says:

      Thank you for the response. To date, Art Turner has not called or contacted me to discuss the Lt. Governor’s position and I do not know if he is throwing his hat into this ring or not. Perhaps he feels he has secured the votes of enough of Chicago’s committeemen or committeewomen.

      You do raise an interesting point about “the most Democratic process” which is what I wanted to do with this post – give voters a voice in the process. Your response here made me ask the next most obvious question, “who did the 14th District vote for in this race?” I have not put that data together, as I have been putting together a list of all 38 Committee Members with their contact information.

  2. OneMan says:

    Well, I guess the more interesting question would be, do you plan to vote for as state party chair? Is Mike Madigan progressive enough for you and would you vote against him even if it comes at a high political cost to you?

  3. Dora says:

    I agree with Barbz. Al Turner received the most votes after Scott Lee Cohen. Turner was chosen by the people. Politicians in office must stop interfering with the people’s right to choose their leaders just because it doesn’t fit with the current officials’ plans. The voters of Illinois were not allowed to vote for a senator to replace President Obama and the voters of Illinois weren’t allowed to “recall” a flawed governor, but the elected politicians disastrously did it their way. Al Turner should be the next lieutenant governor.

  4. Lil_Miss_Dem says:

    I agree with everyone so far. The fairest thing to do would be to select Turner for Lt. Governor, because he did receive the most votes after Cohen, and we really should leave this up to the people.

    However, if you were to choose someone other Turner (who is really the person you should choose), then it would best for the party for you to picked a strong female candidate–like Susan Garret or Julie Hamos. Women are a strong group within the Democratic Party, and Quinn has a very low job approval rating amongst women. This is going to be a tough election year for the Democrats. And w/ redistricting occurring around the corner, it is extremely important to have Quinn be elected as governor. Therefore, you need to choose someone who can best help Quinn in the upcoming election. A strong female candidate could make the difference.

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