What’s clear to everyone is that Bill Foster (D) will face Jim Oberweis (R) in competing for the 14th District U.S. House seat in the special election March 8, the one that determines who fills the remainder of Dennis Hastert’s term of office.
Unfortunately, the notion that Foster will face Oberweis in the November general election (for a new term of office beginning next January) is not set in enough cement for some. That’s because Foster beat John Laesch only by a few hundred votes in the regular primary. There are still a few absentee ballots to count, and Laesch will have to decide whether or not to pursue a recount.
Laesch has a dilemma. He is going to have to choose between his group of volunteers and his party.
John Laesch owes more to his diehard supporters than many of us would imagine. How else to explain his doing as well as he did without professional staff or money? They bled for him. He’d be nothing without them. If his ego allows him to realize that, he’s probably thinking he owes them a recount just to be sure he’s done all he could.
Of course, his ego may want that, too.
I don’t know if Laesch has the wherewithal to pursue such a course, but let’s assume for a moment that he possesses both inclination and resources. This would create a big problem for the Democrats because you’d have a chunk of the Democratic party in limbo for weeks. I can’t imagine Oberweis and the GOP waiting around for them to get their act together, can you? The special election is less than a month away.
The other question is whether or not the core group of Laesch volunteers can bring themselves to work for anyone else. This will be the test of whether the most passionate Progressives in IL-14 see themselves as Democrats or the Party of Laesch. At least in part, this depends on how John Laesch sees himself.
Laesch is holding a press conference at his campaign headquarters tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. Guess we’ll find out then.