Winkel drops out of circuit clerk race, takes new UI job

Winkel drops out of circuit clerk race, takes new UI job

URBANA — Former state Sen. Rick Winkel of Urbana announced Wednesday that he is withdrawing from the race for Champaign County circuit court clerk.

His decision leaves Stephanie Holderfield of Mahomet as the only Republican candidate for circuit clerk, although Winkel's name will still be on the March 20 ballot.

"It's too late to change the ballot," Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten said Wednesday. "Overseas and military ballots were sent out last week."

Winkel said he is taking on a new position at the University of Illinois as director of the Center for Public Leadership. It will begin this fall, he said, with a class of 30 to 40 "emerging leaders" from government and the private sector in Illinois. It is a universitywide initiative under the Institute for Government and Public Affairs.

Nearly a million dollars has been raised to begin the center, Winkel said.

"I have decided to direct a new center for public leadership at the University of Illinois. It is an initiative that moved unexpectedly from concept to reality over the last two months. It has the potential to be of great benefit to the public interest, and I want to devote my energy to making it succeed," Winkel said in a written statement.

"Thank you to the many people who have supported my campaign. I sincerely appreciate all you have done. To those of you who contributed to my campaign fund, I will fully refund your contribution," said Winkel.

According to his last campaign disclosure statement most of Winkel's campaign receipts were from $2,500 he had loaned his campaign fund.

Winkel said he would endorse Holderfield.

"She asked and I said yes," her said.

Holderfield said she that learned of Winkel's decision Wednesday after reviewing voice messages. Winkel called her Tuesday night while she was at a 4 1/2-hour-long county board meeting.

"It took me by surprise," she said. "I'm thrilled to not have a primary now, but I still need to campaign."

Winkel said that with his withdrawal, "I am permanently retired from active partisan politics."

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Urbana_Jake wrote on February 08, 2012 at 10:02 am

As an Illinois native, it is sickening to see the rapid decay of the public university system.

How much is Mr. Winkel going to make per year from the taxpayers and poor students? How much is former Governor Edgar making from the same UI Government Institute?

These are CLEARLY no-job jobs.  A bunch of Republicans sit around in Springfield for 20 or so years and then sweeten their crazy high pensions by lecturing to young, impressionanle gov't undergrad students?

No wonder this state is such a mess. Does Mr. Winkel even have a masters degree? Does Jim Edgar? No wonder the hard sciences professors laugh at the LAS College/Poly Sci and its's who you know in this state.

This is simply SHAMEFUL. When we citizens say that Winkle and Edgar have had enough government taxpayer salary and pension? When will the new Prez Hogan from Conn. stand-up and fire his out-of-control chief of staff Lisa Troyer and now $106 K/year Psych. Professor?

No wonder this state is broke hiring six-figure crooks, ex-crooks, and blame passers. In the real world, you'd be booted out the door.

At U of I, you actually get a promotion, you never stop collecting tax dollars (and increasingly tuition dollars) and you get a fancy title and hide-away campus office.

Disgusting and disgraceful. How's that $1 Billion Bright Futures campaign coming along? That's the fundraising/slush fund run out of Foundation-controlled Harker Hall. Simply out-of control to hand off a campus gem of a building to raise money for fancy parties.

Let's hope the US Attorney for the Central District of Illinois reads N-G comments.


Same old non-sense at UI




Sid Saltfork wrote on February 08, 2012 at 11:02 am

@Urbana Jake;  Well said.  Thank you for your comment.  People wonder why the tuition cost keeps climbing.  The President has indicated his view of with holding federals funds from universities that do not do something about their increasing tuition costs.  He is right on this issue.  Higher education, and politics in Illinois have merged in their corruption.  Tenure, and contracts protects academia from wrongdoing.  Dr. Hogan will not fire his sidekick, Dr. Troyer, for a variety of reasons.  Politicians, and academia now share the same trough. 

HOCKEYDAD wrote on February 08, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I have to wonder Jake, are you angry over the pay they will receive, or the fact that they are Republicans? I for one am glad to see Republicans will be instructing young men and women. In fact I think that for every Democratic leftist liberal professor the university hires, they should have to hire a right wing Republican. This will end the Democrat indoctrination process that has become so ingrained in our colleges and universities in this nation, and will allow our young people to make up their own minds about what political side they choose to take. 

vcponsardin wrote on February 08, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Gee, Sid, as I've lectured you before--perhaps tuition wouldn't go up so fast if the state legislature didn't keep reducing the state's funding to the U of I.  On the other hand, as you've already posted on another story toady, perhaps you'd prefer if the U of I became a private university?  At least you and the other 18%'ers wouldn't have anything to gripe about anymore... LOL!

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 08, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Yes, your lordship; you have lectured me before.  You have made your views clear that the public is only entitled to an 18% opinion regarding the dirty dealings at the u. of I.  The u. of i. is essentially a "private university".  Now, you have a professional politician among you.  Tuition keeps climbing to support faculty teaching two classes per semester with a $109,000.00 salary, and summers off.  Someday, the public will see the waste.  The property, buildings, and inventory could be leased to a private university (Univ. of Phoenix East Campus, or Bob Jones Univ. West Campus) for some money returning to the state coffers instead of funding retired politicians, and unethical academia.  Are you "working from home", and using your university issued laptop while commenting at this time?  Please continue.  It helps the public understand academia. 

Mike wrote on February 08, 2012 at 7:02 pm

Ahem, my pal Sid... I am going to see your "working from home" comment and raise it an "at least they are theoretically 'working' which is a LOT more than can be said of most of the O&M workers at the Big U who spend more time driving their trucks across the quad ogling little girls than they do actually WORKING on anything."

The atmosphere is potentially out of whack for all three classifications of personnel at the University. Picking on one of the three is unfair, because all three are guilty of being slackers. Fill out a form to get a light bulb changed (because god forbid you change the bulb yourself and piss off the yoon-yin for stealing work from someone) and wait to see how long it takes to happen. First they'll have to get a truck. Then go to the shop. Then drive across the quad, down the sidewalk, over by the library, and the park right outside the doorstep of the building instead of on the street because we know how much time it would waste for them to park on the road and walk a few feet... One guy driving a truck on the quad while another walks behind with a wand hooked up to a tank to water the flowers. That's a good use of state taxpayer/student tuition funds. 

Should Troyer have this job that she got? Absolutely not. But really, we can't continue to bash on ALL academic staff as being slackers unless we start bashing on ALL civil servants as being lazy, unhelpful, uncaring, 37.5 hour per week slackers. And a good number of those civil servant slackers make an awful lot of money in their own right...

Just sayin.' Carry on. :)

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 08, 2012 at 8:02 pm

@Mike; Your right.  There are slackers in all groups.  I will lay off the "working from home" comments.  I know many good civil service employees.  I imagine you know some also.  I have respect for many academics I have known, also.  I come from an old fashioned work ethic that includes working as a unit, and leading by example.  Hopefully, we can both agree not to attack both groups except for those that stand out.  Carry on, Mike :)

vcponsardin wrote on February 08, 2012 at 11:02 pm

As long as you know your place, Sid, that is all that matters to me...  And quite apparently you do.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 09, 2012 at 10:02 am

Gee whiz... I have a stalker.  Must be an academic professional, or a wannabee....  No Ph.D. would be that unethical. 

johnny wrote on February 08, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I always suspected Winkel entered the race based on bad advice.  It just never made sense.  He's a good guy, and I'm sorry to see him leave politics, but he does so on a classy and wise note.  He will be missed.