Lake County Democratic Chairman Terry Link plucked Carol Sente from the obscurity of the Vernon Hills Park District. Let's see if this parkie can survive a contested primary come February.
That's what it's looking like as Waukeganite Link, who also is the state senator from the 30th District, which includes Sente's 59th House District, cast the weighted votes for the Vernon Hills owner of a Deerfield architecture firm to replace Kathy Ryg in the Illinois House. That move has not made a testy Buffalo Grove Mayor Elliott Hartstein none the happier.
Hartstein had lobbied vociferously for the appointment, but was rebuffed. He also has said he is a candidate in the Feb. 2 primary noting that "a contested primary on both sides of the aisle is a good thing for the district." At least two Republicans also are expected to run for the GOP nomination when filing begins next month.
Some may recall Link, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Illinois lieutenant governor, threw his considerable political weight into another intraprimary squabble last year. That was the 60th House District fight between incumbent state Rep. Eddie Washington of Waukegan and Lake County Board District 12 Rep. Angelo Kyle, also of Waukegan. Link spent a lot of money backing Kyle and when the smoke cleared, Washington was an easy winner. Is there the possibility of back-to-back losses for the Dem chairman?
As for Sente, vice president of the Vernon Hills Park District, she certainly hasn't been static since being sworn into office last weekend by the county's only Democratic judge, Jay Ukena of Wadsworth. That should send a message to Hartstein that party folks are, for the time being, behind her. She is reopening the shuttered 59th District office next week and getting her name out amongst the electorate.
The soon-to-be fighting 59th is one of those gerrymandered districts, which dips a bit into Cook County, but most of the voters are in the Vernon Hills corridor, although stretching north into Park City and snips of Waukegan.
We will see sooner than later if Master Link still has the political touch.