Drury's ballot battle politically motivated, Evans says
After Rep. Scott Drury (D-Highwood) announced his candidacy for Illinois attorney general, an open feud has erupted between him and his party's leader, House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago).
The Drury-Madigan rift has included Drury voting "present " rather than yes to re-elect Madigan as House speaker and an unsuccessful attempt by a union reportedly tied to Madigan to have Drury's name removed from the March 20 Democratic primary ballot for attorney general.
On Feb. 2, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Drury was removed from the ballot by a Cook County judge in Cook County after a dispute arose surrounding the paperwork Drury filed to run for office.
While Drury filed an appeal, another judge said his name could stay on the ballots until the court reached a final ruling, according to Associated Press coverage published by U.S. News & World Report.
In the meantime, Drury has upped his resistance to Madigan, which began when he failed to support key pro-union legislation backed by Madigan and Local 150, according to a piece published by the Illinois News Network.
Drury blames his opposition to Madigan, as well as his willingness to rankle his own party, for the unsuccessfile challenge to try to keep him off the March 20 ballot.
In the Sun-Times story, Drury was quoted as saying, “When I entered this race, I knew the party would do anything it could to prevent a proven reformer from becoming Illinois’ next attorney general. ... I have instilled a fear in Mike Madigan that has not been seen during his reign in Springfield."
In an interview with Rock Island Today, Glen Evans, a Rock Island Republican vying for the seat held Rep. Michael Halpin (D-Rock Island) in the 72nd District, agreed that Drury’s difficulties seemed politically motivated.
Madigan “demands total obedience from his subjects or he ... cuts off their funds,” Evans said.
While the effect of Madigan’s tactics could have a chilling effect on election outcomes, Evans struck a positive stance.
“We each have a free will and should follow it,” he said. “If I'm blacklisted while doing God's work here on Earth, I don't mind. I try to stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel … and hope it's not a train coming at me.”
However, Evans said candidates – and ultimately, voters – shouldn’t be willing to settle for the status quo when it comes to the political process.
“Illinois politics needs a good scrubbing,” he said. “We must take the gavel away from Madigan and let's give Republicans a chance to govern."