GOP governor primary: What if jury delivers verdict on former Gov. Ryan on Monday. ``Not a deal breaker,’' said Topinka

SHARE GOP governor primary: What if jury delivers verdict on former Gov. Ryan on Monday. ``Not a deal breaker,’' said Topinka
SHARE GOP governor primary: What if jury delivers verdict on former Gov. Ryan on Monday. ``Not a deal breaker,’' said Topinka

Just what happens in the GOP primary, I wondered when I interviewed Judy Baar Topinka at the Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day parade in Saturday, if the jury deciding the fate of former Gov. George Ryan comes in on Monday with a verdictand the former governor is guilty.

complete item starts here

I parked at York High School in Elmhurst and headed toward Spring Road on Saturday.

I wanted to catch the 6th congressional district candidates at the big St. Patricks Day parade in the suburb. Thats Christine Cegelis, Tammy Duckworth and Lindy Scott for the Democrats and Peter Roskam, who has the GOP nomination clinched.

Ive been writing a lot about this House contest and how it has divided Democrats and wanted to check in with the campaigns before Tuesdays primary vote.

And as a bonus, I was expecting to see at least three of the Republicans running for governor.

I asked a parade official for directions. I got steered the right way and picked up an interesting aside on Democratic politics in the 6th from Steve Nelms, 38, a plasterer from Addison.

To recap for casual visitors to the blog: Duckworth, is the wounded Iraq war vet; Cegelis, the 2004 nominee and Scott, the college professor.

Nelms voted for Cegelis in 2004. Now he said he is a volunteer for Duckworth.

“We have three great candidates. All worthy of this spot, he said.

He has not seen his fellow suburban Democrats this excited for years. Not since, he said, William Redmond, the Bensenville Democrat who was the speaker of the Illinois House in the mid 1970s.

“Honestly, said Nelms, “its invigorating.

*******************************************************

Just what happens to the GOP primary, I wondered when I interviewed Judy Baar Topinka at the parade, if the George Ryan jury comes in on Monday with a verdictand the former governor is guilty.

Will it hurt her?

Replied Topinka, “ I think everybody is kind on their own. I dont think people associate me with that anymore.. I dont think anybody feels good about it. It certainly does not add to the picture. But its there and we deal with it. I dont think it is a deal breaker.

Jim Oberweis was handing out two-for-one coupons on the parade route, good at his namesake ice cream stores.

“This race is clearly between Judy Topinka and myself..(Bill Brady) “ is trying to take some of the conservative vote away from me.

Oberweis is finishing up hitting on Topinka. “She is not likely to be able to reform politics in Illinois and I believe I can bring dramatic change to the way things have been done in Illinois.

Ron Gidwitz is going to be spending the remaining hours of the campaign focused on suburban Cook and the collar counties, while his rivals, including Bill Brady who skipped Elmhurst, head Downstate.

“I think the good thing is that Brady and Oberweis are splitting that conservative vote, that ultra conservative voteand the moderately conservatives are going to be voting for me.

How, I asked, can he distinguish himself from Topinka.

“Thats very easy. She is way on the left hand side of the road. And shes hidden. Topinka has been avoiding some events where she figures she will be just be beat up by the three men she is running against.

Not Saturday. She was just down the block, waiting for the parade to start.

The Latest
The entertaining ‘Facing Nolan’ gets the taciturn pitcher to discuss his life and his competitive side.
NFL
The team has a waiting list of 140,000 for 81,441-seat Lambeau Field, which means a long time on the list.
Lesly Morales has been missing since late April, family said.
The Committee on Public Safety approved the mayor’s ordinance by a comfortable vote of 14 to 3 that did not reflect the barrage of concerns raised about a crackdown roundly condemned as a toothless and desperate headline-grabber that will have no impact on youth violence.