Edgar campaigns for county GOP candidates

By Holly Schubert

Illinois Secretary of State Jim Edgar campaigned for DeKalb County Republican candidates during a press conference at the Stratford Inn, Sycamore, on Tuesday, just a week before the election.

State’s Attorney candidate Mike Coghlan, Circuit Clerk incumbent Maureen Josh, State Representative incumbent John Countryman and 16th Circuit Court Judge candidate Philip DiMarzio sat with Edgar at the front table as he told a group of about 12 people that the GOP candidates are people with proven records who understand the people of DeKalb County.

“I can’t stress enough the quality of the candidates here running on the Republican ticket,” Edgar said. He called Josh one of the best circuit clerks in the state, commended the state’s attorney’s office for helping the state crack down on drunk drivers and said Countryman is a legislator in Springfield that he (Edgar) can work with.

Edgar also supported Dennis Hastert. “Dennis Hastert is very supportive of our efforts with DUIs, and I think he’s doing an excellent job in Congress,” Edgar said.

Edgar said local races such as these are important because in order for government to work well, it has to work from the “grassroots” up. “It’s important not only in DeKalb County, but all over the state to have good officials,” Edgar said.

Edgar also addressed the presidential campaign and the proposal for a state constitutional convention.

“George Bush is going to get George Bush elected in Illinois,” Edgar said. He endorsed Bush during the primary but said his activity in the presidential race has been limited because the campaign is run by Gov. Jim Thompson.

Edgar said he believes a constitutional convention is not necessary for Illinois because most of the issues raised regarding revision are actually legislative matters. “Our current constitution is only 18-years-old and is working well. I think we need stability in the state, and the constitution provides that,” Edgar said.

He also said the possibility of a constitutional convention and the tax changes it could cause could scare potential businesses from locating in Illinois. The cost of a constitutional convention, about $30 million, could be used for much more important things like education, Edgar said.

Although he said the days of party identification guaranteeing a victory are over, he suspects DeKalb County will remain a Republican County because the candidates are good.