Mickey Straub to Mount a Primary Challenge Failure-Ridden GOP Leader Jim Durkin

Written by John Biver

Usually when a legislator holds the top leadership post in their General Assembly caucus, reelection in their district is all but guaranteed. These are not usual times. The mood of the nation and the mood of Republican and independent voters in Illinois has changed.

State House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Burr Ridge) will be facing a probably-well-funded challenger in next March’s primary.

IFI and IFA readers have seen his name previously on these pages. Four years ago, Dave E. Smith and I co-wrote the article “Jim Durkin Not the Best Choice to Lead the Illinois House GOP Caucus.”

What we wrote then still holds true today: Illinois is in desperate need of leadership that is both principled and courageous. Without moral and enlightened leaders our state’s continued decline is guaranteed. Rep. Jim Durkin possesses neither the wisdom nor skills necessary to provide the kind of bold political leadership families across our state are demanding.

We also noted the enormous amount of work that’s needed to rebuild a viable alternative party to the one that currently rules Illinois. Jim Durkin’s leadership tenure has unfortunately proven Dave and I correct. Durkin has failed to outline a comprehensive conservative agenda that will restore liberty and health to our dying state and aggressively sell it to the voters of Illinois.

One of the duties of a caucus leader is to work to ensure that fellow caucus members vote for good legislation and against bad legislation. This past summer, several members of Durkin’s caucus voted for a massive tax increase on Illinois families. Republicans!

Durkin’s voting record on some key issues has been disappointing to pro-family Illinoisans. In 2015, for example, he voted for a bill to ban reparative therapy for children who suffer from unwanted same-sex attraction.

In a similar show of incredibly bad judgement, this past spring he voted for a highly controversial proposal that would make it significantly easier for gender-dysphoric persons to obtain fraudulent birth certificates.

Other conservatives are also speaking up about Durkin’s failed leadership. Here is the text introducing a video from Upstream Ideas’ Pat Hughes under the title “The Politics of Mediocrity.”

In Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin’s world, capitulation is compromise. Because he believes now what he has always believed: The Democrats are too strong. Mike Madigan is too strong. Unions are too strong.

The truth is, Jim Durkin is weak. He should be held accountable for his weakness in 2018. Otherwise mediocrity will continue to plague us all.

Small business owner and Burr Ridge Mayor Mickey Straub is announcing his candidacy on Wednesday, October 25th, in Burr Ridge. Straub outlines on his website, mickeyforillinois.com, his reasons for running:

  • “State government should be cutting taxes, reducing spending, and opening the doors to businesses and families, not the reverse. It pains me to watch our taxes skyrocket and to see all the development just across our state borders!”
  • “Success leaves clues, but so does failure. We need to learn from our past and from our neighbors to change course!”
  • “I like Jim [Durkin], but unfortunately, he has become known as the leader of the ‘Surrender Republicans’ since 15 Republicans (including five from his leadership team) just joined hands with Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan to impose a 32% income tax hike on Illinois families.”
  • “I’m running for office because I believe that Illinois is a beacon of prosperity and opportunity and it should be the destination state that it used to be! Instead, families are fleeing Illinois at the rate of one person every five minutes. That’s embarrassing! It’s time to change course and we’re not going to do that without a change in leadership.”
  • “The future of the State and the Republican Party can only be assured through positive, conservative leadership and free-market policies. Too many longtime Republicans take the easy way out and surrender to the Democrats rather than fight for fiscal prudence and our future.”

Here is Straub’s bio from the website:

A well-known principled conservative, patriot and experienced businessman, Straub is serving his second term as mayor of Burr Ridge, which continues to prosper. He is also the president of Sales Activity Management, Inc., a faith-based performance measurement company in Burr Ridge, a husband, parent, Catholic and a community leader who led efforts to build a playground.

In 2012, Straub visited 50 State Capitols in (less than) 50 Days to “promote Lincoln’s principles and patriotism,” and he recently became the author of an inspirational book, “BIG GOALS…Short Deadlines.”

ACTION:  Join the Mickey Straub kick-off rally Wednesday night in Burr Ridge: