Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lake County Board Chairwoman Suzi Schmidt Sets Her Eyes On Michael Bond's State Senate Seat (UPDATED x2)

Team America has confirmed that Lake County Board Chairwoman Suzi Schmidt is ready to dive into the race for the 31st senate district, which seat is currently held by State Senator Michael Bond. Bond recently announced his campaign to run for Illinois' 10th Congressional District, which seat is currently held by 5-term incumbent Mark Kirk (by the way, still no word on Kirk's decision as to run for U.S. Senate or stay at home in IL-10).

Schmidt will be a formidable candidate, with proven fundraising capability, great name recognition, few if any negatives, and a traditionally Republican-leaning district to run in. This will be a high profile race not only for the Lake County GOP (who are hungry to gain back ground lost to the Dems in recent years) but also the IL Senate Republicans (who are probably just as eager).

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno is very enthusiastic about Schmidt's decision to run, and I would not be surprised to see a high level of support coming from the Senate Republicans, who will see this as a prime pick-up opportunity--even if Bond chickens out and decides to stay to run in the 31st district, depending on Mark Kirk's eventual decision.

Schmidt will also likely enjoy the support of the regular Lake County Republicans, and may well avoid a bruising primary battle, as the other top contender, Lake County GOP Chairman Dan Venturi, has pledged support for Schmidt and will not run against her.

Schmidt's Lake County Board seat is not up in 2010, having just won an uncontested bid for re-election, after her opponent was kicked off the ballot for nominating petition errors (which blame was attributed to mistakes by Lake County Dem Chairman and State Senator Terry Link).

Schmidt will reportedly announce her formation of an exploratory committee shortly as a prelude to a formal announcement of her candidacy. More details as they become available.

UPDATE 5/5/09 11:30 p.m.: Here is a copy of a brief press release from Suzi Schmidt's campaign team that was released Tuesday around 5:00 p.m.:

Lake County Board Chairman Suzi Schmidt to run for State Senate

LAKE VILLA (May 5, 2009) – The following statement was released today by Lake County Board Chairman Suzi Schmidt regarding her decision to run for State Senate in the 31st District.

“With much thought and consideration and after listening to people in Lake County who share my deep concern for the direction of our state, it is my intention to run for State Senate in the 31st District and bring much needed reform and accountability to our state government. As a public servant, I have brought honest, competent government to the community that I love and cherish. With our state at the brink of financial collapse, I can think of no greater opportunity to improve the quality of life for my neighbors and community than to bring the same honest, competent government service to Springfield. I am encouraged by the enthusiastic support I have received from friends and family throughout the district and look forward to hearing people’s ideas about how to build a better, stronger Illinois.”

A formal announcement will occur in the coming months.

About Suzi Schmidt: Suzi Schmidt, 57, is the Chairman of the Lake County Board. Her local government experience includes serving as a Lake Villa Trustee (1985-1988), Lake County Board Member (1988-Present), Lake County Forest Preserve Commissioner (1988-Present), and as Chairman of the Lake County Board since 2000. Active in the community, Schmidt is President of Metro Counties, serves on the Board of Governors of the Lake County University Center, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Lake County Municipal League. A 30-year resident of Lake Villa, Schmidt is a member of the Lindenhurst/Lake Villa Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Lake Villa Library, and Lake Villa Historical Society. Schmidt received her Bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. She and her husband, Bob, have been married for 28 years.

UPDATE 5/6/09 12:50 p.m.: The Daily Herald has a story up; Michael Bond declined to comment. Hard to believe he'd turn down a chance at free press.


SaraSmiles said...

The crickets are really loud in here. Is that an indication that Schmidt is not the best candidate for the 31st?
While I agree the 31st will be an interesting race to watch, I disagree that the district is as red as TA believes.

Anonymous said...

I don't care if the district is yellow - Suzi's got my support 100%! As county board chairman, she's emphasized a balance budget (without raiding pension or road funds)has lead the charge on an environmentally friendly county board and has an open mind and is a fair and independent thinker. Plus she returns phone calls (something Mr. Bond is incapable of doing). You can count on me Suzi!

Anonymous said...


The district is definetly red, the only reason Bond won is he was an unknown with the "Garrett" message, "I'm really a Republican but the party...." and his opponent didn't work as hard as him.

Schmidt has fire in the belly - doesn't like losing and will bring the district back in the hands of the GOP. Go Suzi Go!

Anonymous said...


"Mark Kirk. U. S. Rep. Mark Kirk, preferred by GOP ticket-planners to run for either governor or senator, will decline both jobs in order to seek reelection to his House seat, I have been told on what I believe is excellent authority. The reason is not political but personal. His decision will likely be spun as acknowledgment that no Republican can win either race... a conclusion the liberal media will quickly buy and propagate: but the true reason lies not in politics but with other concerns. This decision leaves the list wide open for the two top spots, governor and senator. Kirk was the odds-on favorite of liberal media and prominent GOP fund-raisers who have sought to raise double-digit millions for him and the ticket, if he were to have run for governor. At the same time, it was noted that Kirk's strong pro-abort positions and other liberal stances... i.e. his support of the so-called "hate crimes" legislation... would deprive him of social conservative support in the primary-but the ticket-builders argued that this could be offset by other candidates on the ticket: a conclusion that has been widely disputed. My own feeling is that Kirk would be a better choice for U.S. Senator than governor-although I wouldn't have voted for him for either job. ** Tom Roeser is the Chairman of the Chicago Daily Observer Editorial Board."

Anonymous said...

I agree that a Republican can win. Geo-Karis was the senator for 30 years. Both of the district's state reps. are republican. The majority of the district's county commissioners are republican.

Phil Collins

Anonymous said...

Frankly I'm more disturbed by the rumors Mark is chickening out of the senate race. Thanks to the geniuses at the ILGOP for Senator Alexi. I can't wait to go from one bozo senator to a senator that Makes Michael Brown look like ceo of the year.


SaraSmiles said...

Anon 1:10
Perhaps you need to go back and look at the results of the 08 election. The district is barely red. This is going to be a good race. I have to wonder who will be carrying the blue flag. Will Springfield Dems bring the mighty guns to the 31st to keep the seat, or perhaps they have already written the 31st off. Hang on, this is going to get good.

Anonymous said...

54-46% or 53-47% is "barely" red? Give more those margins of victory for all races anytime!

Louis G. Atsaves

Anonymous said...

Geo's district is clearly red and I'm sure the Dems will pump a lot of money and muscle into the race. Expect the SEIU, AFSCME and the Teachers Unions to be be the grassroots and fundraising mechanism. Expect stimulus money to go toward workforce development efforts to get summer jobs for kids "registering voters" and expect the YWCA to work with Womens Voices to register folks in vacant lots, empty houses and office space.

But at the end of the day, folks are just so disgusted with Democrats, corruption, redistribution of wealth and being lied to, that they will be voting Republican in droves...

The best part is, Suzi campaigns all the time, she is not lazy, and will not wait for help from the State or Senate GOP. She's got her own grassroots organizers that are friends, colleagues and admirers. I'll wager on that formula any day - all day.

Anonymous said...

Great news about Kirk! TA, Is it true? A number of us Kirk supporters have been writing to urge him to stay in the 10th.

The hell with the State of Illinois or is it the State of Chicago. Let them have their "Madigan Daley Dynasty", it'll all come crashing down within the next decade.

Just keep the poison out of Lake County and the 10th - and keep Kirk in!!

Rock on Marko!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why would Suzi Schmidt run for the Illinois State Senate? She gives up chairmanship of the Board to become a senator for the minority party for only a 2 year term. Her presence won't make a difference in redistricting in 2010/11. It doesn't make sense. If she wins and the Democrats win 2 County Board seats, they will appoint her successor, and they will surely appoint the most liberal Republican they can find. What if the Lake County Dems put all their energy into winning two County Board seats and the two House districts that make up the 31st? That would be a much bigger gain for the Dems than holding Bond's seat and losing the rest. I think Schmidt is great, but I don't see this as a very smart play. And she's going to have to begin running for reelection pretty much the day after she's sworn in. I hope the commenter on the News Sun article isn't correct and the plan is for Schmidt to only serve one term. That would look like a fix to give Schmidt another publicly funded pension.

Anonymous said...

Im sick of this redistricting as an excuse. The party has ample ammunition to go on and stay on offense against these Democrats. If a Democratic party dominated by coastal elite liberals and chicago socialists can win seats in west texas and south carolina, we should be able to compete in cook and lake county.