Joliet Dem alleges deals made in McGuire replacement plan
By Bob Okon firstname.lastname@example.org April 12, 2012 10:34PM
Updated: May 14, 2012 8:22AM
JOLIET — State Rep. Jack McGuire’s retirement was no surprise, said a former Joliet councilman who also claims Democrats have had a scheme to replace McGuire since before the March 20 primary.
“It was well known in this community that Jack would retire right after the primary and we would go through this process,” Warren Dorris, who left his seat on the council last year for an unsuccessful bid for Joliet mayor, said Thursday.
Dorris, a Democrat, was interested in a Joliet-area state senate seat that was filled in February when a Democratic Party committee appointed Pat McGuire to the seat formerly held by A.J. Wilhelmi. But Dorris said he won’t seek McGuire’s spot, which also will be filled by a party appointment.
“I’m not applying for that opening,” Dorris said. “I believe the Democratic Party had a deal already set. They know who they are going to put in there.”
Both McGuire and Wilhelmi were unopposed in the March 20 primary. McGuire did not announce his retirement until a week ago, and Wilhelmi resigned his position when it was too late for anyone else to run in the Democratic primary.
Will County Democratic Party Chairman Dennis Grosskopf on Thursday rejected Dorris’ claims, saying there is no deal to fill McGuire’s seat and said he had not heard talk that McGuire would retire after the primary. Grosskopf, however, noted that similar rumors that McGuire would retire after winning an election had been circulated in past elections and did not prove true.
McGuire, 78, served in the legislature for 21 years but issued a statement last week saying he decided to retire because of age-related health issues. He could not be reached for comment for this story.
Dorris was not the only one, however, who suspected McGuire would retire after the primary. The Republican candidate in the election, Ryan Alm, had mentioned the rumor weeks before the primary.
“The rumor that I have heard from many different sources and from many different people is that this is something that had been planned out,” Alm said this week.