Monday, June 06, 2005

Garrett to run in 10th CD primary

State Senator Susan Garrett [D- Lake Forest] will form an exploratory committee next Sunday to advise her about jumping into the 10th Cong. Dist. Democratic Primary. Having taped her today for an episode of “Public Affairs,” to air in the suburbs in a week, I predict Garrett will run in the Democratic Primary. She understands she is likely to have a contested primary, possibly from Clint Krislov [tonight’s guest on Public Affairs in the City of Chicago on CANTV, Cable Ch. 21 at 8:30 pm] and perhaps others, but she does not seem phased by that potential competition.

Garrett estimated her net worth at 2 to 5 million dollars, and said she could self-fund her campaign somewhat. However, Garrett said “I have a problem with people who totally self-fund. I think it has to come from outside.” I think Garrett will use the exploratory campaign time period to line up her financial and political support and start getting her team/network organized. Count Garrett in the 10th CD primary. You can "make book on it," as they say.

Garrett starts with a strong base of support, having run and won four races on the North Shore in the last seven years, the first two for State Rep. and the last two for State Senator. With re-districting and her change from a house seat to a senate seat, it is thought that 30 to 40% of the voters in the 10th CD may know her and have been represented by her, which is quite an advantage relative to the prior Democratic opponents in the 10th CD to Cong. Kirk, with the exception of his initial race against four term State Rep. Lauren Beth Gash, a race he won by only two points. And, the 10th CD has been trending Democratic on the presidential level, with Kerry winning it 52-48.

On the other hand, the Republicans have held the 10th CD for the last twenty-five years, and re-districting in 2002 gave the Republicans a net gain. Also, the district liked moderate Republican Cong. John Porter a lot for 20 years and he successfully transferred the seat [with a late endorsement in a 10 candidate primary] to his former Chief of Staff, Mark Steven Kirk, in 2000, and so far, Kirk has continued the moderate Republican tradition.

But, for Senator Susan Garrett, a run in the 10th CD is a free bite at the apple, so to speak, since Garrett’s senate seat is not up again until 2008. All things considered, a chance to run in the 10th CD this year is an offer Garrett can't refuse. Timing is everything in politics.
Jeff Berkowitz, Host and Producer of Public Affairs and an Executive Recruiter doing Legal Search, can be reached at