The rumor mill is at full speed regarding my resignation, future plans, and how it all came to be. This was not my planned article but a message on my phone from a lady chastising me as the “fix was in”; combining that with an editorial by publisher Carter Newton of the Galena Gazette Newspaper referring to my resignation as “business as usual” in Illinois politics, necessitated this article. Mr. Newton, whom I hold in the highest esteem, failed to publish my article dated August 29, 2013 where I laid out my reasoning which, in my opinion, is certainly contrary to “business as usual”.
Most importantly you need to understand how the process works. I didn’t design it. I must follow it. “Here is the rest of the story.”
When a member of the legislature resigns, the officials of his or her party in that legislative district choose a replacement. In my case the six republican county chairpersons of Stephenson, Jo Daviess, Carroll, Whiteside, Ogle, and Winnebago make the decision. It is a “weighted vote” depending upon the number of votes cast for me in that county in the last election. Do I have a vote in the process? Absolutely not! Do I have input? Absolutely! You’ve elected me for the past twelve years; it is my hope that someone with similar values would be the appointee. Was this orchestrated several years ago as my caller insinuated? Simply put “NO”.
I recommended Brian Stewart, my longtime friend, mentor, and co-worker “back in the day.” Brian and I go back some thirty years to his days as a Stephenson County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant when I was an FBI Agent. As I write this I’ve learned that he is in fact the appointee. I’ve learned also that twelve others applied and were considered.
Brian has an amazing track record as a successful businessman and someone who has worked exceedingly hard in the public arena. During my first year of running for this office in 2002, I sought his counsel often. He had established himself well in Stephenson County politics and I trust his advice.
I have been very open in my reasons for my resignation. No one asked me to step down early. I very clearly expressed my reasoning and involvement in my future endeavors in my article of August 29, 2013. There is no need to restate them.
To me, business as usual would have been – if I disregarded my promise to you to serve no more than six terms. That is a promise broken so often. I rest my case.