Friday, September 23, 2005

The race is on to replace Sen. Shadid

UPDATE (5:22 a.m.) : The Journal Star's Jennifer Davis reports that Dave Koehler is rumors to be Shadid's pick to replace him. I wouldn't be surprised if Shadid resign early and let the powers-that-be appoint Koehler.

WEEK is reporting that long-time State Sen. George Shadid plans to retire. That's sad news for his fans, but understandable. Shadid has spent most of his adult life in public service, from being a city cop to Peoria County Sheriff to the state legislature. Why not kick back and watch from the sidelines for a while, and enjoy being honored as an elder statesman?

Now, on the the speculation on a replacement:

Willy Nilly speculates that Aaron Schock will seek to replace Shadid. Schock has barely even begun serving his first term as state representative, but I doubt that will dissuade him, for a variety of reasons.

First, it fits Schock's hyper-ambitious behavior pattern; he's the classic resume hound that we all hated in high school and college. Second, he might have a better change of getting elected from the geographically larger 46th Senate District, which includes the 91st and 92nd House districts. Both these districts are served by Democrats, but I've gotta think there is a higher percentage of GOP voters in the 46th Senate than the 92nd House. The moderate Shadid was always popular among Republican voters. Schock has never missed an opportunity to suck up to the conservative wing of his party (outside of view of Democratic leaning audiences, of course) and needs all the help he can get.

Willy also flat out predicts that Dave Koehler, director of the Peoria Area Labor Management council, will announce for the 46th. He also speculates that current 4th District City Council member Bill Spears might seek the Senate seat rather than try to unseat Schock in the 92nd.

I've gotta think that the Democrats would consider 91st District State Rep. Michael K. Smith of Canton to be the logical choice to replace Shadid. He's served that District since 1995 when Tom Homer left to become a judge.

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