Hopefuls bidding to replace McGuire
BY BOB OKON email@example.com April 9, 2012 9:04PM
State Sen. Pat McGuire (left) congratulates his uncle, state Rep. Jack McGuire, on Jack McGuire's retirement. | File photo
Updated: May 11, 2012 8:10AM
Candidates have begun to line up for the party’s blessing to replace state Rep. Jack McGuire, D-Joliet, who announced his resignation last week.
The naming of a successor probably will not occur until the Will County Democratic Party holds officer elections April 18, party Chairman Dennis Grosskopf said Monday.
Just who picks the successor will be determined by the party caucus. Grosskopf himself, who would be a key figure in selecting the next state representative if he remains chair, said he has not decided whether to seek re-election.
Grosskopf said he has heard from two people interested in replacing McGuire as state representative in District 86. They are Joliet Township Clerk Beth Ann May and Jackson Township Trustee Larry Walsh Jr. Joliet City Councilwoman Jan Quillman also said that she will seek the post.
Early expectations are that the party will get a long list of applicants, just as happened less than two months ago when a Democratic committee named Pat McGuire, who is Jack McGuire’s nephew, as the successor to former state Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi. Wilhelmi, a Democrat, took a job as a hospital lobbyist before the March 20 primary but resigned at a point when it was too late for candidates to run in the primary.
Jack McGuire, 78, ran unopposed in the primary and then announced last week that he had decided he should not seek re-election in November because of health issues related to his age.
Both Pat McGuire and Jack McGuire’s successor will face election in November.
Jack McGuire’s successor will be chosen by a three-person committee made up of the party chair and two precinct committeeman chosen by the central committee of the Will County Democratic Party. The same process was used to select Pat McGuire as the senator in the 43rd District.
Walsh, who also is the son of prominent Will County Democrat Larry Walsh, was an unsuccessful applicant for the state senate spot but said he has been urged by labor leaders to seek the new legislative vacancy.
“A lot of the labor community has come up to me and asked me to step up to the plate as Jack’s replacement,” Walsh said.
Walsh is secretary-treasurer for Machinists District 8, which represents manufacturing workers, and is a former employee at the Caterpillar plant in Joliet.
Quillman said she sees the state legislative position as the “next logical step” after being a Joliet councilwoman at large since 2005 and a member of the city’s zoning board for eight years before that.
May described herself as “interested” in the position but not yet decided.
“I’m starting to make a few calls to see if people in leadership would think I’m the kind of person they would be looking for,” May said.
May previously had served two terms as a trustee in Plainfield Township, where she formerly lived. She also was a state central committeewoman for the Democratic Party for eight years in the 13th Congressional District.