The First of Many
It's early -- about 19 months until Election Day -- but I think this is a pretty good sign that Rod Blagojevich is in trouble.
Oberweis says he's running for governor
By Don Babwin
The Associated Press
Published April 14, 2005, 3:32 PM CDT
Conservative businessman James Oberweis, who twice lost Republican primaries for the U.S. Senate, announced Thursday he is running for governor.
Speaking in downtown Chicago, Oberweis -- the owner of an Aurora dairy -- said he would work to make the state much more pro-business than it is today to attract companies and jobs. He said the economy could improve and jobs be created by reducing taxes for both families and businesses.
He drew a sharp contrast between his ideas for attracting companies and workers to the state and those of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whom he said ``looks at business as though it is a cow to be milked for more and more taxes.'
Admittedly, Oberweis is a two-time loser (he didn't even make it out of the GOP primaries) but this multimillionaire has to have better things to do than run for governor ... unless he really thinks he can win. (Politics also reportedly has been good for his dairy business).
One thing is certain: If he spends the money that he has, Oberweis can make life very tough on Blago for the next 11 months (until the primary), and he and the rest of the Republican candidates -- and there will be several -- will be softening the governor up for the general election.
Oberweis says he most fears State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, and he called her "liberal." That's just Oberweis appealing to his base, and trying to paint JBT into a corner. But he'd better not go much farther or he's going to alienate all those suburban female GOP voters again, and make Topinka look stronger than she really might be.
This is going to be a great gubernatorial election campaign, especially if a courageous Democrat would step forward to challenge Dr. Blagojevich in the primary.