With less than two weeks to go until the Illinois primary voting day (early voting has already begun), we are deep into the silly season.
Although the City of Chicago has a well-earned reputation, don’t underestimate the ‘burbs.
North of the City, where I once taught and was President of both a union local and an IEA-Retired chapter, there is a race to replace Laura Fine as State Representative in the 17th District.
Like most of the legislators in the area, Laura is a fairly traditional Democrat. She won the IEA/IPACE endorsement every year except the one year following her vote to support pension theft. That year, our local endorsement hearing led to no endorsements for any pension thief.
Now that Daniel Biss is running for governor, his Senate seat is open and Laura Fine is running for it.
There are five candidates for Laura Fine’s now-open House seat.
Local IEA union representatives met in an IPACE endorsement hearing and voted to support Mary Rita Luecke, a former school board president and political progressive.
House Speaker and state Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan is assumed to be backing Jen Gong-Gershowitz.
But a mailing sent out by Candance Chow, another candidate, would suggest she is endorsed by the IEA and Laura fine.
Neither is true. She isn’t IEA endorsed nor does she have the support of Fine.
Education workers, members of the IEA, freely give their money to IPACE. No dues money is spent on political campaigns. Endorsements of state representative candidates are not made by union’s leaders in Springfield. They are made at the local level by activist teachers who frequently meet with local elected officials and know the landscape.
It does not reflect well on a candidate to claim teacher support without having it.
An IEA activist from the district told me, “IEA Legal had been notified about Chow’s antics, and I called Laura Fine’s office , because Laura has not endorsed Chow either and her picture is there (Laura endorsed Gong-Gershowitz, the Madigan pick). Never boring in Chi-town and burbs.”