Seventy Illinois citizens have submitted applications to be Illinois? next nominee for Lieutenant Governor from the Democratic Party. Two are from near Center Square — they are not buying celebratory champaign just yet.
?I will be interested to see who gets slated,? said 21-year Bowmanville resident Jay Rehak. The skeptic says they?ll just say, ?We got a better guy,?? than the people who applied online.
Ravenswood resident Antoinette Lefkow does not take her chances seriously either. ?I sort of filled out this application on a lark ? I don?t think it could go anywhere. [But] the more I think about it, the more I think, ?Gee it could be fun.??
Our local Lt. Governor applicants also have a civic devotion in common. Rehak is a career English teacher at Whitney Young High School, an occasional playwright and was elected last year by Chicago Teachers Union members to be Teacher?s Pension Trustee. Lefkow was an active Obama for President supporter, she gave the maximum $4,600 contribution to his campaign, and recently served on Democratic Cook County Board President Nominee Toni Preckwinkle?s policy development committee.
?This is a chance you don?t often get,? said Rehak. ?If these guys are serious about integrity [then] these guys have to take a look at me.?
Neither applicant sees their chances as very good. So they have not been campaigning or building a policy platform. But an anti-incumbent streak seems to influence their thinking.
?I think a bunch of independent accountants should have a look at things ? somebody that?s got no ties to a political organization,? said Lefkow. ?Maybe somebody from the outside would be able to find discrepancies, be able to find waste. That would be a good starting point.?
Rehak thinks career politicians are to blame for our budget problems. ?You have to take a very hard look at the budget. These people, they don?t do that.? The state is in kind of a mess because they?ve borrowed so heavily. Who is behind the deficit problem and the budget problem? Career politicians.?
Now that they have dipped their toe in politics, should we expect to hear from Lefkow and Rehak again?
?I?ve actually been thinking about it for a while ? maybe running for alderman at some point,? said Lefkow. My great-grandmother ran for alderman once. It has emboldened me.? I?ve always wanted to be more active politically ? and now I think I might do it.?
Rehak would, but only if the right opportunity opened up. ?If the same opportunity had opened up for Mayor, I would have jumped at that.?
Update: The original version of this article stated that Lefkow had made a $4,800 contribution to the Obama campaign. This is incorrect. Lefkow gave the 2008 legal maximum, which was $4,600.