Saturday, September 11, 2004

Coulson - Bromberg race is likely Jack Ryan's collateral damage

Russ Stewart writes another excellent column here, this one on the race between Beth Coulson and Michele Bromberg in the Skokie-Glenwood-bit of Wilmette and Evanston 17th state rep district. He gives the edge to Bromberg, who is running against the GOP incument Coulson on a campaign platform of (in Stewart's words): "I Am Not A Republican."

You can judge the two campaign websites for yourself (probably a tie for pretty lame): Michele Bromberg's is here and Beth Coulson's is here. (I hate to be superficial, but I can't believe Beth Coulson is 50. She looks like she's 40.).

If Coulson loses, I guess you can blame Jack Ryan. Because if Jack Ryan were still running for U.S. Senate (and thus leading the GOP ticket in Illinois, 'cause you know W won't be around these parts), he's have Wilmette on fire for him. He lives there. Russ Stewart said that the battleground in this state rep race will be heavily-Jewish West Wilmette. There won't be a whole lot of precinct walking going on for the GOP, but there might have been a lot if Jack Ryan were in the race. (There were a ton of signs up in Wilmette during the primary). Alan Keyes just doesn't inspire the same excitement in Wilmette as Jack Ryan. I haven't been up there in the last month, but I'll bet there's not a single Keyes sign up in the suburb. So Beth Coulson might be collateral damage from the Jack Ryan implosion.

Which is a shame, because she's one of those clean-government, policy-oriented, accessible legislators. Maybe I'm betraying some incumbent-bias as a lobbyist since I get to know the legislators. And I'd be far more partisan and itching for a Blomberg victory if the state House were evenly divided or if there was even a threat of the House GOP taking control. But since the Dems have a fat margin in the House, a 67th House Democrat doesn't seem like that much of a partisan priority to me. I'm sure Michele Bromberg would be (or will be) an honest, hard-working legislator. I just hate to lose an effective one like Beth Coulson.

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