Saturday, September 12, 2009

Blond Ambition: New Lake County Board Member Aaron Lawlor May(?) Run for 59th Legislative District (UPDATED)

In a rather startling development, Team America hears from several reliable sources that newly-minted Lake County Board Member Aaron Lawlor is going to run for the GOP nomination for the 59th Legislative District, which is the seat recently vacated by former State Rep. Kathy Ryg. Lawlor was appointed to the Lake County Board by County Board Chairwoman Suzi Schmidt to fill the vacancy left by the departure of former board member Pam Newton. Lawlor was sworn in only on July 14, 2009, so such a move is sure to draw attention. Before being appointed to the County Board, Lawlor served as a trustee of the Cook Memorial Library Board in the Libertyville area, and was also elected as President, during which time the library board finalized plans for a major expansion of the library.

Meanwhile, two other Republicans, attorney Dan Sugrue, and business owner Mohan Manian, both of Green Oaks, have already formally announced. We spoke with Sugrue tonight, who ran an uphill battle against entrenched incumbent Kathy Ryg in 2008. Sugrue told TA that he welcomes Lawlor to the race, should he formally toss his hat into the ring.

"I believe any Republican who wants to run should be able to run," Sugrue said. "I'm running an issue-oriented campaign, and my values and beliefs are well-known. I am interested to see where Aaron is on the important issues affecting the 59th District and the State."

When I spoke with Dan, he'd been out campaigning all day, and he re-affirmed his commitment to the race. His first big fund-raising event is scheduled for Thursday, September 17, 2009 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at OPA! Estiatorio restaurant, 950 Lakeview Parkway in Vernon Hills.

Lawlor, who was Deputy District Director for Congressman Mark Kirk, and is involved with Kirk's U.S. Senate campaign, can be counted on to be more moderate than Sugrue on many social issues. Sugrue is a conservative, pro-life Republican, and a primary between Sugrue and Lawlor could ignite differences and cause a show-down between conservative and moderate factions in Lake County (I should note that the 59th District also includes a few precincts in Cook County down in Wheeling, as well). Already, some conservatives in Lake County have sent out an e-mail urging like-minded Republicans to support Sugrue over Lawlor.

This is sure to be the topic of the day at the annual Lake County Central Committee picnic tomorrow. I have to miss it because I'm sailing, but I can't wait for the report from readers who attend. I haven't spoken with Lake County Republican Chairman Dan Venturi about Lawlor's potential candidacy, but in the past, the party has stayed away from making endorsements in contested primaries.

The winner of the GOP primary in February will meet the Democratic nominee in the November general election. Just today, it was announced that the Democrats have chosen a businesswoman and Vernon Hills park board member, Carol Sente, will fill Ryg's unexpired term as State Rep. This came as a bit of a shock, as Buffalo Grove Mayor Elliot Hartstein has already announced he would seek election to the seat, and made no bones about his desire to be given the appointment in the meantime. It remains to be seen as to whether Hartstein stays in the race and sets up an interesting primary on the Dem side.

Buffalo Grove trustee Lisa Stone has also been mentioned as a potential candidate, although it is unclear if she would choose to run as a Democrat or a Republican.

UPDATED 5:15 p.m.: Home from sailing, and haven't got the report from the picnic yet, but the Daily Herald has an article up that confirms that Lawlor is looking at the 59th District race.


Anonymous said...

dold also announces monday. Hopefully he, green, coulson and cadigan will show up on the berkowitz show so we can get a once over on them from some decent questions-obama did it when he was senate candidate.

But I have some modicum of hope that dold isn't a dolt and that cadigan has some mark kirk/rob bradner in him. We'll see-he has to get into the race and a major yardstick in the campaign-fundraising numbers for quarter 2 is coming up in a month.

I don't know lawlor-I have been thoroughly unimpressed with his political work, but it's a shock more kirk aides aren't running for things seeing as though he's the only decent leader we have right now in the party and good congressmen tend to breed solid proteges moynihan-russert, gephardt-stephanopolous, porter-kirk, ect.

To any packer fans out there, here's to you getting your ellen kicked tonight.


Anonymous said...

Well Foklaes I do know Aaron Lawlor and can tell you that he's a guy who will be a great State Representative. He helped guide the Cook Memorial Library Board in his first term as Chairman several years ago. He's bright, thoughtful, has a grasp of the issues that matter to all of us as a fiscally conservative and more socially moderate guy. Aaron is great fit for the 59th District and has earned the trust of many key leaders out here. Aaron brings a high ethical standard to his bid for State office. As a key Kirk staffer he has learned well from his boss and his peers what it takes to be the kind of leader who should seek an office that demands the kind of personal and professional leadership we ned in
Springfield. Take the time to get to know Aaron Lawlor and you'll be happy to support this great young man. And just to be clear, TA, I know that Aaron is not cutting and running and thus leaving the County Board without regard for his recent appointment. He will have completed his entire first term by the time of the general election in 2010. That would not be the case for one Elliot Hartstein or for Lisa Stone should either of them jump into this race. Their terms are for 4 years.

Anonymous said...

We'll see. No need for anointments.


Team America said...

Anon 1:52- I agree Aaron is a really nice guy and a personal friend of mine, and he does have some political experience including president of the Cook Memorial library board, which I forgot to mention, so I am going to update to reflect that. But even though he would complete the term on the county board that he was just appointed to, I think a lot of people are going to question his commitment to whatever he's doing at the moment because you can get the impression he's simply looking at the chance to move up whenever the opportunity arises. For a lot of people who are tired of 'career politicians', that's a problem.

Anonymous said...


You've got it - most of us are tired of career politicians and "anointed" candidates being shoved down our throats.

I met Dan Sugrue last week when he knocked on my door. I voted for him last year and I'll vote for him again next year - in the primary and the general.

I am pro-choice and my choice is Sugrue. Because he's NOT the candidate the party wants and because I believe he is sincere, honest and will bring a fresh approach to Springfield.

I am tired of the same old "move up the ladder" candidates the GOP keeps endorsing. Sugrue is the real deal and has my support!

Anonymous said...

Agreed, TA, and I hope that it does not become a focal point in the campaign. Aaron will have the experience he'll get from serving his full term on the County Board to bring to the 59th Legislative District is how I'd like to look at this right now. I was impressed with his leadership on the Cook Memorial Library Board and that's where I first noticed his outstanding leadership qualities. I'm in strong support of his bid in this race and hope others will soon see what a valuable asset he'll be in Springfield.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect 10:22 I'd hardly call Lawlor's candidacy something that's being shoved down our collective throats. Vote for whomever you choose, but don't label Aaron as someone who has been pushed into this by others. Get to know this young man and then make your decision about who gets your vote come February 2.

Anonymous said...

In my mind, Dan, and Keith, and Fightin Tim Stratton deserve our support. These guys took one for the team running in awful years. Their commitment is genuine, we know they are men of principle, and they already know the ropes.

It's a big jump from mass emails and library meetings to being able to wage a fierce fight for a seat. We'll see.


Anonymous said...

So, the kid tosses his tiara into another ring.

His handlers should have him treated for ADHD; and until such time, keep him away from shiny objects lest he become distracted again, wander off again and run for a third office in three months. Kids today. When I was his age we only got pine for one dream job. He gets two in two months.

It will be interesting to see if this exciting breath of fresh air in the Republican Party will vacate the county board seat he has abandoned as one would expect of exciting breaths of fresh air; or will he like his mentors Mark Kirk and Suzi Schmidt, embrace the First Law of Wing Walking - NEVER let go of what you hold until you have a FIRM grip on something else.

Interesting how the local Lake County GOP brain trust would never consider endorsing a 25 year old kid to run for a judgeship to interpret the law, but see nothing wrong endorsing a 25 year old kid to write the law.

Patrick Bateman said...

Aaron will make a fine state representative in the 59th district. He has been a real force on the Cook Memorial Library board for the past couple years and is really a personable guy who knows his stuff inside and out. He has been a great asset to the Kirk organization and I'm sure they will be hard-pressed to lose someone of that caliber. Aaron’s had a great mentor in Mark Kirk and I hope he follows in the same vein. I will look forward to financially contributing and working actively on Aaron’s behalf and I encourage everyone to do the same.

Easy said...

We can keep running candidates who cannot even get 40% of the vote, or we can run fresh, new energetic candidates who can get to 50%. Turrelli, Lawlor and others are part of an exciting new batch of candidates that deserve a look.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:20,

Right on! If I recall, the GOP brain trust endorsed an 18 year old student running for Antioch mayor...perhaps the problem with the GOP is the brain trust cannot be trusted to use their brain.

I am sure Mr. Lawlor is a fine, bright young man and socially engaging, but what life skills does he possess? His Democrat opponent is a small business owner and has a much more extensive and impressive resume. His Republican opponent is a probate lawyer, father of 3, and is a volunteer at the local school as well - again a more extensive and impressive resume.

TA, I'm not sure if it is "blond ambition" or "blind ambiition" for this young man.

Anonymous said...

How sad that those of you who are so quick to put down the candidacy of Aaron Lawlor don't have a clue about this capable young man. So he's not a business owner. So what. Do you think he's cluless about business issues and what he needs to do to advance the issues of those folks in the 59th district? Aaron has not been sitting on the sidelines of life playing games the last several years. He has more experience in what it takes to move mountains than many twice his age. This has little to do with age. It has to do with his work ethic,his intellect, his knowledge of and commitment to the district he will represent. Not many young people care enough to do what Aaron Lawlor did when he took the reins of leadership at the Cook Memorial Library. Have you malcontents checked on his record? You might just learn something. Nobody gave Aaron that position. He has learned from the best: Mark Kirk and Eric Elk. Patrick Bateman's post mirrors my thoughts: Aaron will make an outstanding State Representative. We should welcome his kind of dynamic leadership rather than throwing damn darts his way.

Anonymous said...

This should be a good fight, and I think we need to be careful on Aaron's credentials.

1. He was a junior kirk staffer without decision making authority on a campaign that struggled for 4 years to beat a neophyte. Writing email copy dictated by John McClauglin isn't james carville wunderkind brilliance.

2. He was a board member, not an executive. Again no decision making authority.

3. For the north shore and most especially a congressional office, Lake Forest is a very subpar school-unless you count Susan Garrett as an intellectual superpower. He's pretty green so this thing matters in demonstrating intelligence.

4. Porter had a number of staffers that ran for state and local offices. None of them won except for Mark, and not many of them made it to the upper echelons of government. Just because you work for someone or know someone doesn't mean you are capable of becoming that person.

Fan of King Louis Astaves the Ellen Slayer

Anonymous said...

Lawlor expanded the Cook Library without raising taxes. Nice job Aaron.

Anonymous said...

I will look forward to financially contributing and working actively on Aaron’s behalf and I encourage everyone to do the same.

I heard a rumor that Volunteers are already lining up to help Aaron.

Pretty good for a young 'un, I'd say.

Anonymous said...


Can't agree with you more on your points regarding Aaron.

TA-looks like the kids will be tying up your blog attempting to pump up Aaron.

For those of us that have been around the block a few time - it ain't gonna work!

Anonymous said...

I wish I could figure you out, Foklaes. Aaron Lawlor doesn't need any of us to validate him or his abilities, period, end of the story. Stop looking at his age as a negative. And I think you are clueless about what this bright guy accomplished in and for the
10th Congressional District as a Senior staff member for Mark Kirk. I'm put off by your denigration of Lake Forest College as well. I think you need to chill out, stop the constant nit-picking and destructive comments since they're very unhelpful. I seem to recall that the guy in White House has the top of the line education. I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

Lawlor needs to get his story straight. He says in the article he's thinking about it, yet told this blog-arguably a bigger political force, that he's in. If you're flip flopping on getting into the race in the first place, well, you've got issues. I don't know the fightin 59th but I do know the conservatives are a lot more wily, wound up and sophisticated when it comes to fighting moderates in primaries-ask U.S. Senator Loleta Didrickson. They have better messaging, resources, training for their people, and if Dan gets their backing look out-I've read of huge Tea Parties in these parts, I haven't seen christie todd whitman moderate republican facebook pages .

Lawlor was not an executive in the cook county library board therefore he couldn't do anything-he could vote, but that's not exactly earth shattering stuff.

Also Tom Cross is about as unimpressive a guy as you'll see and a big time connect to the hideous hastert machine that cost us congress. That guys endorsement is not exactly a thing of gold.

Fan of King Louis Astaves the Ellen Slayer

Anonymous said...

Anon, intelligence has been a thing sorely lacking in our party of late in springfield-witness the brilliance of beth coulson getting blago to endorse their work on ethics, HAH!

A party deep in the wildnerness needs leaders who are thinkers. As well since this is the best educated region of the state, we are counted on to provide the best thinkers and leaders-porter-kirk-fitzgerald. Dan seems to be authentic and took one for the team last time, opportunists whether they are pat hughes or this young buck are another matter.

Senior Staff in a congressional office are flak (Eric Elk), chief of staff (eric elk), d.c. admin ass (lester munson), and to a much lesser extent legislative director (patrick magnuson). Deputy district directors print out name tags, they aren't involved with strategy, personel, legislation, political coalitions. They are braves sent out to hunt, not chiefs who decide where and how to hunt.


Team America said...

FOKLAES- Aaron didn't contact me about this, I heard about it from a number of different people, including Dan Sugrue, and also saw the e-mail that I mentioned in the the post. Lawlor confirmed his interest in the position to the Daily Herald, so it's now out in the open, I guess.

Aaron did have an impressive tenure on the Cook Memorial Library Board (which is the Libertyville library, it's not in Cook County), first as a trustee and then as President, and was able to fund a new library without raising taxes, although his critics would say they skimped on money that should have been spent on operations for years in order to save up. Jack Martin, a well-known libertyville tax watchdog, has been all over this stuff for years.

Aaron's not a nobody and he has an impressive record for someone so young. His negatives are that he's basically never held a private sector job, his age, and his unfortunate timing with just having been appointed to the county board and already seeking to move up.

If the party gets behind Aaron, a segment of local Republicans that don't like the party leadership and love Dan Sugrue and his conservative positon on the issues are not going to give Aaron an easy time of it.

Anonymous said...

Well, 5:09, perhaps if you'd stop circling the same block, you'd realize that we need more Candidates like Aaron stepping up to the plate.

Very impressive record for a young man in a world where many have a hard time getting out to vote--let alone assume a leadership role, succeed, and then assume additional responsibilities.

The party of "TWO Aarons"!!! I LIKE the sound of that!!! And, I am ABSOLUTELY certain that supporting him is going to be one of my greatest joys.

You go, Boy!!!!

Anonymous said...

Lawlor needs to get his story straight. He says in the article he's thinking about it, yet told this blog-arguably a bigger political force, that he's in.
=========== actual announcement was made later today after this blog was posted. Decisive!

Also, I spoke to him in some great detail regarding the completion of his current term--and there's NO doubt in my mind that he's committed, willing, and able to do a great job with both.

Plus, he's already started to recruit volunteers to help him, and we're ready to GO!!!!

THIS is going to be a race to watch!!!!

Anonymous said...

TA, I didn't question you,but the guy said in the herald thing that he was going to make a call in a few weeks.

I thought the library was cook county library system-which would be a big deal. For what it's worth, Dave From, about as good a guy as you'll ever find in politics or life, period, one of Kirk's top lt's and a Dole-Kemp 96 field hand, once held aaron's job. He's been unable to win races in deep red republican territory in the speaker's former district, so just something to keep in mind.


Team America said...

Anon 6:02- actually, Lawlor did not officially announce, if you read the Herald article carefully, and he told Dan Sugrue today at the GOP picnic that an official announcement is probably a few weeks away.

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected, it wasn't an "official" announcement, but I could have sworn that they announced his name at the picnic today, as I thought, running.

Was I wrong?

Anonymous said...

This is a lot of energy for a state rep race. Bottom line, TA I trust your reporting skills, I wish this guy godspeed, but don't think we should forget a campaign just because he was a mid-level kirk staffer and board member of a small library.

I called earlier this week for a cattle call on all state rep/senate races to see where we are in the 10th recruiting so that democrats don't get any free passes. Next year is going to be a year so red you would have thought it was a commie sham election, and we need to make sure the Karen May's, dan biss's, schoenbergs, nekritz's et al don't get free passes to the springfield cesspool. Often times when veteran legislators see a bad year coming at the end of a run like the one the dems have had they call it quits-i.e. the GOP congressional retirements of lahood, hyde, ect in 06-08.

This would be a great time for young bucks and perhaps older folks looking to give back and fix the state for their kids before retirement to throw their hat in the ring-you can't beat being on a ticket with mark kirk.


Anonymous said...


I was at the picnic (smallest attendance i've ever seen) and Lawlor was announced as a candidate for what its worth.

I agree with FOKLAES - why bring in a new guy, with arguably little credentials, when you've got a gentleman that already ran (when noone else had the balls to do it) and is willing to do it again?

Only the Lake County GOP and Cross could screw up opportunities for a 2010 home run.

Sugrue is a hard worker and for those who whine about him not winning last year, remember these 3 facts:

1. It's a Dem leaning map
2. Kirk lost Lake County
3. Those who won in Lake County were in heavy GOP districts (Beaubien, Sullivan and Duffy)
4. Duffy's opponent (Bill Gentes) was called out for lying to the Daily Herald - any opponent of Gentes' would have won.
5. Keith Gray, Bill Anderson and Tim Stratton - absolutely great candidates ALL LOST - It's the MAP! Stop acting like school girls and tossing good folks under the bus.

For once - stand united, stop playing games and try to win with some pride and dignity!

Anonymous said...

Stop acting like school girls....

For once - stand united, stop playing games and try to win with some pride and dignity!

Not real convincing arguments to support your guy. Hey, but thanks for the compliment!

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:11,

OK, let's think of reasons to support your guy Lawlor:

1. Only job - federal government
2. Jumped from Library Board to political appointment to County Board and now wants to be a State Rep
3. Has a list of "volunteers" lining up - Are they Kirk's volunteers?
4. Can count on him to waffle like his mentor has done - cap & trade ring a bell? surge ring a bell? bailout ring a bell?
5. Can count on him to help other candidates like his mentor has done
6. Just can't think of any more.....

OK, you got me - we should be supporting Aaron Lawlor, that's a sure way to energize the base. NOT

Anonymous said...

I'M supporting him he's talented, likeable, and ambitious; has a great background, has had a great mentor--and I like working with our new generation of Leaders by doing all I can to help position them for even greater success.

Anonymous said...

And, with regard to "energizing" the "base", Aaron Lawlor is going to energize the PARTY--just as Aaron Schock does.

Aaron Lawlor IS our next Rock Star.

Anonymous said...

Hate to tell you, but I personally know Aaron Schock and Aaron Lawlor is NO Aaron Schock.

Let the blond ambition tour begin...

Anonymous said...

Be sure to hang onto the rail...please.

Anonymous said...

For those of you that want Sugrue to be the candidate, please tell me, other than he was the candidate last year and deserves a shot, why he can win a general election. If you look at the pick by the Democrats you see a female, moderate, from Vernon Hills. Vernon Hills happens to be the largest voter base in the distinct. The district is also moderate. Dan, while a very nice guy, is an extremist when it comes to social issues. There is a reason why the democrats picked this woman. They are planning to run against Sugrue. And for good reason. Dan is a nice guy that probably will not mix it up. He is not very dynamic or good on the stump. This woman is very dynamic. Folks, this is a no brainer here. A savvy business woman that is very personable on the Democratic side versus an extremist dud or a young go-getter moderate that is a proven candidate and an elected official with a tremendous track record in Vernon Hills.

Anonymous said...

OK, for those of you that consider anyone that is pro-life an extremist, you'll never be won over.

I am a pro-choice Republican.

I do not vote based on a single issue - my brain can handle more than one issue and I think the same is true for voters in the 59th.

I am supporting Dan Sugrue because he is honest (an uncommon trait in today's political world). I am supporting because he will cast the right votes in Springfield when it comes to government waste, government corruption and common sense solutions to the most pressing issues.

Dan Sugrue is NOT going to Springfield to take away a women's right to choose and to suggest that is disingenuous. I am sure Personal PAC will get involved in the General and if you're concerned about them. Try taking them on for a change - I can assure you that I will on his behalf.

Terry Cosgrove of Personal PAC has attacked ALL REPUBLICANS in Dem leaning districts (unless they contribute to them and have a 100% NARAL voting record).

To characterize any and all individuals that are pro-life as extremists is an insult. Furthermore, to add the word "dud" is an insult as well. I thought the GOP was the "big tent" party.

It appears anyone that does not "drink the Kool-aid" the Good 'Ole Boys mix up, is not welcome.
Maybe that is why there are so many more Independents than there are Republicans or Democrats. The intolerance, the political expediency, the lack of integrity in the political process.

The GOP has lost its soul and will lose a lot more next year if it does not find its soul soon.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:18,

Tell me why a savvy businesswoman would accept the nomination by a low-life like Senator Terry Link and a machine politician like Mike Madigan?

The Dem agenda is anti-business? She cut a deal with an unsavory group as far as I'm concerned. And this blog and the GOP should be focusing on her and not beating up each other over Lawlor's ambitions.

Anonymous said...

About that picnic yesterday.

1. No officials of the Lake County Republican Federation attended yesterday's annual Lake County GOP Picnic. None. Pathetic display on their part. I guess they aren't Republicans. One of them went sailing. Their "executive director" was absent. But members of the RALC, who the Federation always fights with, were there.

2. Only a tiny handful of Lake County Judges attended. Lake County GOP Board members were only a tiny few. Many GOP elected officials were also missing in action. I guess they feel they don't need the party. Perhaps they too went sailing. Pathetic display on their part.

Way to show UNITY folks! Next time judges and county board members cry about Democratic inroads in the county, perhaps they should be reminded of of their lack of party support. But they want support from the party while they in turn are reluctant to support the same party. Pathetic.

3. In the meantime, many candidates appeared, including those running in the 8th and 10th Congressional Districts. I guess maybe they got a display of the current state of the Lake County GOP. All the party "insiders" (elected officials and judges) were missing in action, save for a tiny few.

Nice picnic. Poor turnout by the RINOS and the pretend Republicans. Poor show of unity in a year where unity is an absolute must.

Will the Lake County GOP again fumble the ball? Is the Aaron Lawler move the same play by a few know-it-alls as not punting the ball on your own 20 yard line like the game losing move of the Bears last night?

Ask those who found better things to do rather than attend this event. Like sailing.


Anonymous said...

If Republicans want to take this seat they need a candidate who can attract new voters. I met a young man. Mohan Manian, who knocked on my door. He’s an Indian American business owner. He has business experience and knowledge of the state funding system. He talks about the issues that affect everyone such as balancing the budget and corruption in the State government. I also saw his website. He has specific proposals to reduce government spending. I can see him in more voters because of his background and experience which will allow him to stand up to other business owners. I would like the party to support him.

Anonymous said...

If Republicans want to take this seat they need a candidate who can attract new voters. I met a young man. Mohan Manian, who knocked on my door. He’s an Indian American business owner. He has business experience and knowledge of the state funding system. He talks about the issues that affect everyone such as balancing the budget and corruption in the State government. I also saw his website. He has specific proposals to reduce government spending. I can see him bringing in more voters because of his background and experience which will allow him to stand up to other business owners. I would like the party to support him.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:58,

Maybe all those "no shows" are disgusted with the GOP...

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:58
Wow, what an uninformed and nasty posting. I was at the picnic, too...and there were many, many elected officials in attendance. Judges, County Board, State Reps, congressional candidates, etc. Since alot of folks you call RINOs were there...does that mean they aren't RINOs anymore? Why didn't you name the elected officials that WERE at the picnic? More fun being a naysayer? Dude, I'm sure the Dems are enjoying your post. So, you really work for them?

Anonymous said...

The people that need to be attacked in the party are not the moderates, necessarily. John Porter was a great congressman-he also supported conservatives like reagan and gingrich.

Tom Davis, congressman from virginia was a moderate, practically a democrat, but he kept our majorities in congress in 1998 and 2000 including mark's seat. The congress he kept in d.c. by the way was pro-life and let the assault weapons ban expire.

The real people that need to be targeted are BAD republicans-people like beth coulson who were enablers for blagoyevich and jason roe and his wife who are running dick green's campaign and whose bossses-bob ney, tom feeney and rick renzi directly cost us 3 seats in congress and our majority as a whole.

If conservatives want to be taken seriously you need to recognize that just as there are bad moderate apples like blago/coulson there are good moderate apples like kirk and just as there are bad conservative apples like the guy dick green hired to run his campaign there are good conservative apples like peter fitzgerald and roskam, and gingrich and michael steele.