Morgan Co. commissioners express support for making Schock foot election bill

By Gary Scott on April 13, 2015 at 12:59pm

It appears Morgan County commissioners will pass a resolution encouraging resigned Congressman Aaron Schock to foot the bill for a special election.

Schock formally stepped down at the end of last month following questions about his spending of campaign funds. He’s expected to return to Springfield next month to testify before a grand jury.

Last week, the Marshall County board passed a resolution that authorized a letter to be sent to Schock requesting that he pay the cost of running the special election in that county. An email was sent out by Marshall County officials to other counties in the 18th District, encouraging the same action.

Commissioner Ginny Fanning expressed her desire to see something on the next commissioner agenda during this morning’s board of commissioner meeting.

“We are joining forces with other counties in having our voice made when we send a letter to Mr. Schock now to say, ‘please take a look at this and see if you can’t help the counties and the cost that it’s going to be for all of us,” Fanning says.

“I think it’s a worthwhile effort. Will we get the money? We don’t know, but we want to certainly let people hear our voice and know that we’d like to see if it’s all possible to have that take place,” she continues.

Commissioners Brad Zeller and Bill Meier also expressed their support for the idea.

Morgan County Clerk Jill Waggener stated during this morning’s commissioner meeting that the cost of the special election is slightly higher than previously estimated. Between the party primaries to be tentatively held on June 8th and a general election on July 24th, Waggener says it’ll cost $90-to-$100-thousand.

The projected expense has been nearly twice as high for larger counties in the 18th District.

On the Republican side, there are two declared candidates at this point: State Senator Darin LaHood and Donald Rients of Benson.

Attorney Mark Zalcman of Peoria has announced he’s withdrawing his candidacy because he says there’s not enough time to collect petition signatures. Zalcman believes Governor Bruce Rauner is trying to ensure that LaHood “would not have to face any grassroots opposition in the campaign.”

No one has formally declared candidacy on the Democratic side.