Straub -- and controversy -- continue to dog Durkin ahead of primary
Burr Ridge Mayor Mickey Straub has made waves in his race to unseat House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), who has been dogged with controversy.
Straub and Durkin are locked in a pivotal race for the Republican nomination for the 82nd House District. However, Straub contends that voters need change.
“I couldn’t stand the pain anymore, especially after I saw 15 'surrender Republicans' jump ship and vote with the Democrats for the tax increase,” Straub told Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson, hosts of "Chicago’s Morning Answer" radio show, in October. “I want a chance to make a difference and give the people in my district an option: someone with old ideas or fresh ideas.”
Proft serves as the principal of Local Government Information Services, which publishes the Will County Gazette.
Straub argues that Durkin is a “career politician.” The Burr Ridge mayor wants to advance his political career to Springfield to “take aim” at these career politicians, he states.
“I look forward to holding our politicians accountable for what they have done to this state and to bringing new ideas and leadership to Springfield,” Straub said in previous DuPage Policy Journal reporting. “My promise to everyone in my district and around the state is that by promoting Lincoln’s core values and Reagan’s economic policies we will do just that.”
Durkin, on the other hand, has become a pariah for fiscal conservatives, according to Straub. After failing to whip the votes necessary to avoid the state’s most substantial income tax increase in history, Straub believes that Durkin isn’t interested in his constituents.
Rather, Durkin has had a career allegedly steeped in questionable activities.
The ethical controversies dogging Durkin include allegedly taking a $15,000 donation from a taxi cab lobbyist hoping to regulate Uber and other ride share companies, threatening reporters with litigation, soliciting democratic donors for campaign fund donations, being involved in advocating for a strip club connected with an unsavory figure and possibly using his connections to hire a relative for a position in the Illinois Tollway.
“The story does raise a lot more questions than it answers,” Straub told West Cook News about the tollway hiring.
Straub also questioned Durkin's close ties with democratic leaders, suggesting that the relationship is troublesome.
“It creates a potential conflict of interest,” he told the Will County Gazette. “Voters have to know who they are voting for.”
Straub argues that Durkin works on getting legislation passed only if it is beneficial to himself.
“Jim Durkin was elected nearly 20 years ago to represent Illinois families but, unfortunately, records show he is more focused on representing his law firm by passing legislation to increase local government debt,” Straub said. “Illinois families expect him to act in their best interest, not to create business for his law firm and cash-in on bad legislation.”
Durkin and Straub face off in the coming March 20 GOP primary. The 82nd District covers parts of Cook, DuPage and Will counties, including Darien, Homer Glen, Lemont and Willowbrook.