By Sheri Wellen
Now that the dust has finally settled it is clear to see that Americans have had enough of the Democrat rule across the country. It isn’t clear yet that the change the public wanted so desperately is going to be the right decision or even offer hope for the future. The Republican victories were a stunning upset and the wind was knocked out of the sails of the Democratic incumbents.
Jay Hoffman was the 112th District representative for nearly 17 years until he was defeated by Dwight Kay Nov. 2. Hoffman, who spent more than $800,000 on his campaign, has not commented on the Republican victory. Kay has said that the first thing he will do in office is a forensic audit of the state books by an outside private firm. His agenda is to do away with the “free-spending” of the former administration, namely the Blagojevich years that put the state into debt.
President Obama and his wife, Michelle, campaigned vigorously for Alexi Giannoulias to win Obama’s former Senate seat. In the hotly contested Senate seat race, Chicago Congressman Mark Kirk won with about 48 percent of the votes to Giannoulias’ 46 percent. This was the ugliest and dirtiest of all the campaigns. Each party accused the other of being dishonest and lying. More than a third of Illinois voters agreed that both Giannoulias and Kirk were dishonest and untrustworthy.
At the center of the campaign were allegations of Giannoulias’ ties to organized crime and his family’s failed bank that was taken over by federal regulators. Kirk had to apologize for lying about his military record. He had claimed that he was a veteran decorated with the Navy’s highly coveted Intelligence Officer of the Year award, ran the Pentagon’s war room and came under fire on flights over Kosovo and Iraq.
By November 3, the governor race was still undecided. Both incumbent Governor Pat Quinn and his Republican challenger Bill Brady were tied with 46 percent. Seven other Democratic governors had been given the boot by voters in their states but Quinn would later emerge victorious.
In Madison County, the biggest upset was when Kurt Prenzler defeated Frank Miles in the Treasurer race. Miles had been appointed to the position when Frank Bathon retired. The issue of the questionable process of selling tax debts was brought to the attention of the public through a newspaper article. Miles reduced the rate from 18 percent to 9 percent within his first 45 days in office but it wasn’t enough to satisfy the registered voters of Madison County. The public wants accountable spending in government offices.
Kyle Anderson, who had also been appointed to his position as Recorder of Deeds, was defeated by Republican Matt Rice. The only Democrat who kept his seat in office was Sheriff Bob Hertz, who walked away with more than 43,000 votes. He insists that because he has maintained professionalism with his staff and office, the public recognized his ability to effectively serve the people of Madison County.