It looks like the race to replace recently retired State Representative Kathy Ryg in the 59th Legislative District may be a hot contest for both Republicans and Democrats. Although only two candidates, appointed incumbent Democrat Carol Sente of Vernon Hills, a businesswoman, and Republican Dan Sugrue, an attorney from Green Oaks, filed their nominating petitions on Monday October 26th, we've been waiting for the expected entrance of several other candidates who also declared their intention to run for this spot.
Yesterday, two of those candidates made their filings, and it's game on in the 59th District primary. We've not heard much about Buffalo Grove Trustee Lisa Stone as a possible candidate lately, but we'll have to see.
On the Dem side, Buffalo Grove Mayor Elliott Hartstein filed midmorning yesterday, and will challenge the newly-appointed Sente in the primary. When Hartstein did not file on the first day, we were suspicious that some back-room deal had been cut among the Dems to get Hartstein out of the race. That appears not to have happened (yet), so this should be a primary race to watch. Hartstein has great name recognition and will give Sente a real fight. If he wins, he will face the GOP winner in the general election without the advantage of incumbency that Sente would bring, and would be taken as a sign of weakness and a possible pick-up opportunity for the GOP.
Sente appears to have learned a lot from Kathy Ryg about being out in the district and interacting with constituents. She's done more in the past few months than some legislators do all year in terms of hosting meetings and greetings. But, Sente is no shoo-in; just recently she was criticized in the Daily Herald for not taking a position on campaign finance reform when asked by the Herald editorial board. Newspaper people hate it when politicians won't give them a straight answer.
On the Republican side, declared challenger Mohan Manian showed up to file against Dan Sugrue, who previously ran a good race on little resources against Ryg. Mohan is a good guy, but the advantage belongs to Sugrue with his experience and name recognition. Sugrue signalled his intentions to run against Ryg again, before she announced her retirement, and deserves credit for sticking with the fight when no one else was interested in taking on the popular Ryg. Dan is off to a good start and he deserves the support of the party. Sugrue is endorsed by the Team America Blog.