I’ve waited to discuss the outcome of the election, not because I didn’t feel that I owed you a comment, but to allow it to sink in. The days since November 8 have been a whirlwind, but now the dust has settled.
First and foremost, I want to thank my wife Deb for her support and understanding during all these months of solitary dinners and neglected household chores. Throughout the campaign she was my gracious silence, and my rock.
To those who supported me with their votes, I simply say that I will do my best to justify your confidence. For those who didn’t, I ask that you give me the opportunity to show you that I am representing you as well. To all the citizens of the 63rd District, I want you to know that your interests will always come before mine or those of anyone else.
On election night I received a very gracious phone call from John Bartman congratulating me on my win. He’s to be commended for standing up and taking on the challenge of running for this office, and I wish him nothing but the best.
Much has been said about the amount of money spent on this race, and it’s something that I cannot leave without comment.
This is the first time in my recollection that there has been anything like this in McHenry County. We’ve seen other races where millions have been spent, but we never thought it would happen here. But it did.
At the outset, I insisted that my campaign maintain a positive message, that it focus on the issues that confront us all: property taxes, business-friendly reforms and jobs. For the most part, that became the theme of the campaign and I’m proud of that. Both sides threw some elbows, but I insisted that this race would not become personal, and it didn’t. To his credit, John’s campaign held to the high ground as well. That can’t be said for most of the other races in this State.
The thing that embarrasses me is the sheer volume of mail pieces, radio ads and other media that blanketed the District. I know that name recognition is key to anyone getting elected to public office. But I also know that there’s a point of diminishing returns, and that point was reached weeks ago. The fact that there were millions of dollars available to spend doesn’t mean that they needed to be spent. While I was the beneficiary of many of those dollars, in no way does that make it any less disturbing. On behalf of those who thought that more was better, I apologize.
Finally, to those who’ll say that my election was bought and paid for, let me say this: I’m not so naïve as to not know where the bulk of my funding came from. But while the money might have been theirs, the message was mine. I’m going to Springfield with that message and will work to move the needle toward lower property taxes, less regulation and more opportunity for the people of the 63rd District and for the State of Illinois. My loyalty is to you and to those principles, and no other. McHenry County voters have long insisted upon independence from their representatives; I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Congratulations, Steve. So happy you’re representing us in Springfield!
It’s pretty rich for anybody to talk about somebody buying 63, given its history. I have confidence that you will represent us, not Michael Madigan (or, indeed, Bruce Rauner); that you have the good of the District in mind, not political loyalties.
Full disclosure: my husband worked on the campaign.