IL-14: Burns Drops Out

In a move that means only far-right candidates Jim Oberweis and Chris Lauzen will compete in the GOP primary (Michael Dilger can come correct me if he wishes), Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns has dropped out of the race.

The Beacon News is tying the action to Denny Hastert’s endorsement of Jim Oberweis, and Burns admits it’s the “main factor.”

In a letter to the editor that appeared in The Daily Chronicle the day before Hastert’s endorsement, Lauzen called for Hastert not to meddle in IL-14.

Any candidate running for the Republican nomination to succeed you would feel honored by your endorsement. However, out of respect for the people whom we all serve and for the future unity of the Republican Party in this area, I respectfully request that you remain neutral before the primary and support whomever the Republican voters select after the primary on Feb. 5, 2008.

Many folks express their wonder to me about the apparent necessity to spend $1 million of taxpayer funds on the March 8, 2008, special election when that money could better be spent on national security, health care or education. Now that you are stepping away from your official duties, I believe that citizens and voters would be distressed if you reassert yourself and use your considerable clout to influence the outcome of an impending primary.

Not that I have any great desire to agree with Lauzen on anything, but I do feel bad for moderate GOP and independent friends. If both Burns and Foster had gotten the nomination, it would have been a great race. It seems to me that the GOP is in such disorder they will endorse only candidates who can self-fund.