• Originally published in the Kane County Chronicle on July 18, 2009
GENEVA – Speaking out at a “Taxpayer Tea Party” April 15 in Geneva helped put Geneva Republican Bob McQuillan on the party map after a few office holders heard him on the podium. Now, he wants to take his message to the state level.
McQuillan, 52, on Friday announced his candidacy for state representative in the 50th District, a seat currently held by Republican Kay Hatcher, 62, of Yorkville, a freshman House member who replaced longtime Rep. Patricia Reid Lindner and is running for re-election. The primary will be in February 2010.
McQuillan, the co-founder of a local advocacy group, FACTS – For Accountable Controlled Tax Spending – said he had been toying with the idea for a month and a half or so, before making his decision about two weeks ago. This will be his second attempt at political office after running a failed attempt for Geneva School Board in 2005.
He said he had met and talked with a few local Republicans, including Kane County Board member Drew Frasz, R-Elburn, and State Sen. Chris Lauzen, R-Aurora, which helped him along with his decision.
“Things are really broken here,” McQuillan said. “If you really want to get them fixed, you need good people to stand up and move forward. If I expect good people to stand up and run for office like this, why shouldn’t I be one of those?”
Frasz and Lauzen both said they first heard McQuillan speak at the Kane County Tea Party and were impressed with what he had to say. About a week ago, Frasz said, he met McQuillan again at a Republican Party vetting session, where McQuillan “gave all the right answers.”
But while Frasz and Lauzen had good things to say about McQuillan, not everyone in the local Republican scene is familiar with him. Kane County Board member Mike Kenyon, R-South Elgin, chairman of the Kane County Republican Central Committee, said he had never heard of McQuillan.
But he wasn’t surprised at the notion that some Republican higher-ups, specifically in Kendall County, might back someone other than Hatcher. The 50th District includes most of Kendall County and parts of Kane and La Salle counties.
“My guess is Kay is not conservative enough for them,” Kenyon said.
McQuillan hinted at that, as well.
“Some people are opposed to some of the positions she’s taking,” McQuillan said, referencing Hatcher’s stance on abortion, which is that government has no business making a woman’s reproduction decision.
Hatcher said she is going to continue to do what she set out to do when she ran for the seat.
“I ran for this office to make a change in the way Springfield handles ethics,” said Hatcher, whose first Springfield vote was to impeach former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. “I think we made a good start. … Everybody’s focus right now is supposed to be on getting our state back on track, getting people back into jobs and rebuilding the infrastructure of this state.”