The Madison County Record Jul. 10, 2005, 5:45am

I support… me

Now that St. Clair County’s Stephen McGlynn has put on the appellate court robes, the Metro East needs a new representative on the beleaguered Illinois GOP’s ruling board.

It’s called the ‘Republican State Central Committee’ to politicos, the place where decisions like Alan Keyes replacement of Jack Ryan in last year’s U.S. Senate debacle are made. Dicta hears three players are vying to replace Judge McGlynn in the post.

Steve’s brother, St. Clair County Republican Chairman Michael McGlynn is one of them and the odds-on favorite. He’ll be challenged by two mayors—O’Fallon’s Gary Graham and Carbondale’s Brad Cole.

McGlynn gets the best odds because of the selection process. County Chairmen from the 12th Congressional District of U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello each get a ‘weighted’ vote based on how many 2004 GOP primary ballots their county pulled.

St. Clair County Republicans turned out the most, so assuming he backs his own candidacy, Mr. McGlynn gets to vote and vote often for himself. On his way to a majority, McGlynn starts with some 39.5% of the total.

Jackson County—home to Carbondale—boasts the second highest vote total in the 12th with 10.8%, tied with Williamson County. Madison County ranks third with 9.2%

Stephens vs. Simmons?

He’s been a member of the Illinois House GOP leadership for the good part of a decade. Now State Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Highland) is plotting a promotion.

Stephens, 57, once of Troy but now of Greenville, wants to head to Washington, D.C., replacing U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) when he retires.

Shimkus has defeated a few local trial lawyers to win and hold his seat. In 1996, he beat Lakin Law Firm partner and State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Collinsville). Four years later, he clobbered SimmonsCooper’s Jeffrey Cooper, then a Madison County assistant state’s attorney.

Cooper’s law partner, John Simmons, would make a likely, well-funded and formidable challenger to Stephens, a Vietnam veteran awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

Of course, Shimkus has to bow out first, widely rumored but still uncertain. The West Point graduate’s name is being floated as a 2006 candidate for statewide offices closer to home, such as Illinois state treasurer and even governor.

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