While the eyes of the nation are focused on the Scott Brown senate battle in Massachusetts, back here at home, it's only 16 more days until our own primary to decide which GOP candidate will do battle against the Dem nominee for U.S. Senate, which is still presumed to be Alexi Giannoulias.
Earlier this week, ABC-7 hosted a U.S. Senate debate in which only three of the six candidates showed up. One of them, oddly, was Andy Martin, who has no traction in the polls and is regarded by many, including the IL GOP, as not a legitimate candidate. That was a recipe for high (or low) comedy, and I tried to watch the video clips on the ABC-7 website, but I will admit I did not quite make it all the way through. It was just too tortuous. It was clear that front-runner Congressman Mark Kirk won just by not showing up and subjecting himself to the farce that was labled as a debate.
Hughes spent much of the debate jousting with Andy Martin, wondering aloud why anyone was paying attention to the self-proclaimed muckraker, and recited over and over again that the race was only between he and Mark Kirk, as if only if he repeated that often enough, it would come true. Perhaps Hughes' poor performance in the debate was one reason that the Illinois Conservative Action Network announced it was pulling its endorsement of Hughes for Senate – and was endorsing former judge Don Lowery instead (and Lowery, like Kirk, didn't even show up to the debate either). Back in December, the ICAN group had endorsed Hughes.
Just look at how Hughes handled the emerging controversy over his voting record (or lack thereof) during the debate when fellow candidate John Arrington called him on it:
Poor Pat had to be rescued by the moderator and clearly wasn't ready for prime time. Lucky for Pat, Channel 7 decided not to air the debate live.
It seems that Hughes' voting issue may turn out to be his Achilles' heel, to the extent that he ever had the chance to get any traction. In a joint candidate appearance before the Springfield State Journal-Register yesterday, Judge Lowery also slammed Hughes for running a negative campaign when he never bothered to vote much before running for one of the highest public offices in America.
From today’s SJR:
Lowery, a former southern Illinois judge, said candidates need to have a record and said Hughes hadn’t voted until recently in Republican elections.
“We can’t blame all the ills of society on Congressman Kirk,” Lowery said.
Hughes, who lives in suburban Chicago, said he has often voted for Republicans but couldn’t remember which Republican primaries he voted in before 2008.
“When I decided to get involved in the political process, I did it in a major way,” Hughes said. “There are many ways to show your patriotism.”
Ouch. And check out this video that discusses which important elections Patrick Hughes missed this decade:
That's not too good for Pat either.
Meanwhile, the clock is ticking away, and it looks like it's getting late for the Hughes cavalry to arrive. Tick tock, tick tock.