Rauner re-election 'an uphill battle,' Zahm says
Jon Zahm isn’t so consumed by his own campaign that he can’t see a path forward for Gov. Bruce Rauner.
“Gov. Rauner can be re-elected in an uphill battle,” Zahm, a Republican running for Henry County recorder/clerk for the seat held by incumbent Democrat Barbara Link, recently told host Paul Caprio in a PublicAffairs TV segment posted to YouTube. “I’m concerned about House Bill 40 (abortion expansion bill) and Senate Bill 31, the sanctuary city bill. If he opposes both of those bills, I will be satisfied and prefer him over one of those Democrats, but there are still details to work out.”
Zahm, field director of pro-family, anti-tax political action committee Family-Pac and a former local Tea Party chairman, hinted he doesn’t see Rauner as being responsible for everything that has gone wrong in Springfield.
“I definitely want to see primaries for every Republican that voted in favor of the tax increase,” Zahm added of the 15 GOP members that voted in favor of the new state budget that carries a 32 percent permanent income tax hike. “And then there are the 10 that wouldn’t hold the governor’s veto.”
Zahm has the support of the Henry County GOP organization is his run against four-time incumbent Link in November. He is running unopposed in next month’s Republican primary.
"We're pleased to have Jon file his petition and being willing to challenge an incumbent of long standing; that's always important," Henry County GOP Chairman Jan Weber told Rock Island Today in a recent telephone interview. “We would hope that the county clerk's position could be flipped."
Zahm has previously served as a member of the Kane County Republican Executive Committee and as a Republican precinct committeeman in Batavia Township. He also served on the Kane County regional board of school trustees from 2003 to 2008, including the last three years as president. Zahm has also served as founder and chairman of the Henry County Tea Party and the Illinois Gun Owner Rights Organization.
His run against Link has not been without controversy. Just before the new year, he threatened to file an ethics charge against his Democratic rival for allegedly disclosing information.
More specifically, Zahm took to Facebook on Dec. 8 to charge that Link or an associate told a county board member that he had requested a copy of that member’s precinct committee petition.
The Henry County clerk/recorder’s office oversees vital records, election results, marriage and civil union licenses, raffled licenses and property tax data. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the county’s 2016 population at just under 50,000 citizens.