Skip to comments.Schock plans to seek congressional seat (IL-18)
Posted on 08/05/2007 9:34:15 AM PDT by LdSentinal
PEORIA - State Rep. Aaron Schock wants to go national. Fueled by what he called his passion to "step up to this cause" and the "outpouring of support" expressed to him from constituents and leaders throughout the 18th Congressional District, Schock told the Journal Star on Saturday he plans to run for the 20-county seat. It's held by U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Peoria, who is retiring in January 2009.
"Serving in Congress will allow me to step up and advocate for people and the causes I believe in at a higher level," said Schock, also a Peoria-based Republican.
"This is a call to duty for me. I am passionate about advocating for causes that affect people's lives, and I've proven that I can get things done even with a Democrat legislative majority."
The decision comes after two weeks of speculation whether the 26-year-old, who became the youngest School Board member and president in Peoria School District 150 history and is now the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly, would make the leap. A formal announcement is expected in coming weeks.
"Obviously, timing is everything in politics," Schock said. "I believe my conservative voting record and the principles I stand for are a good fit to accurately represent the people of the 18th District."
In his bid for the nomination, "I believe my proven legislative and campaign abilities are a powerful combination," he said.
He will join fellow Republican and former Peoria City Councilman John Morris, 39, in his bid for the coveted post. Heartland Partnership President Jim McConoughey, 46, also a Republican, said he's launching an "exploratory committee" to help him decide.
Other potential local GOP candidates include LaHood's son, Darin, a Peoria attorney, and state Rep. David Leitch, R-Peoria.
Schock said he's already sealed endorsements from Republican County chairmen - regardless of who runs in the primary - in 11 out of the 20 counties in the 18th District.
Tazewell County Republican Chairman Demetra DeMonte said she's personally supporting Schock because he would "rejuvenate" the Republican ticket.
"Tazewell is a conservative county, and Aaron is guided by conservative principles. I believe he's inspiring in that he brings people to him. He draws people to him," DeMonte said. "Aaron has a proven ability to reach out to independents and Democrats, in addition to Republicans. I believe he will rejuvenate the Republican ticket. It will excite the Republican ticket."
Shock's early rise to elected government began at age 19, when he defeated an incumbent District 150 board president in an uphill and aggressive 2001 write-in campaign. He was elected vice president of the board in 2003 and president in 2004.
At 22, he challenged incumbent Democrat Ricca Slone in 2004 for her 92nd District legislative seat and won a narrow victory with 235 votes. He resigned from the school board in July 2005, after he completed his term as board president, to focus on his role as a legislator.
He was elected to a second two-year House term in 2006.
"I've never had an easy race, and each of the three times I've run to serve in public office, I've risen to the challenge and overcome the odds. I'm ready to work just as hard in this race," Schock said.
If elected, Schock would not become the youngest person ever elected to Congress. Adam Putnam of Florida was inaugurated in 2001 at 25, the minimum age requirement under the U.S. Constitution.
He could become the youngest serving congressman, however, depending upon the outcomes in the November 2008 elections. Republican Patrick McHenry of North Carolina currently holds that distinction at age 31.
On one hand, Schock has become the "wonder boy" of Illinois GOP politics, quickly rising to get elected to school board at 18, Board President at 21, State Representative at 23 (defeating a crooked 20 year incumbant in a big upset), and now seems poised to get elected to Congress at 26. And this rate he'll be a U.S. Senator by age 30. He would bring a certain celebrity status to the ticket and would almost certainly win in this heavily Republican district.
On the other hand, Ray LaThug hedged his bets and endorsed this guy for state Rep. and campaigned for him, and since Schlock won by only about 250 votes, he "owes" LaThug big time. He may be too close to the retiring incumbant to be trusted. On other hand, if Daren LaThug enters the race, we know who daddy will endorse, and it won't be Schock.
I still wish Jonathan Wright would run. Any man who can work his day job, drive from Lincoln to Chicago every day to campaign for the U.S. Senate, and raise 9 kids would work tirelessly in a Congressional race. Tazewell County State's Attorney Stu Umholtz still might run, and at least he already has name reconition in Illinois (unfortunately, it tends to be "hey that's the guy who Lisa Madigan slaughted last year in her re-election bid")
And while I'm not big on conspircy theories, it's possible LaThug is pushing Schock to run so he can split the non-LaHood conservative vote and ensure the insiders will elect his boy. I wouldn't put it past him, there's a reason why LaThug announced his "retirement" so early.
I'm surprised he hasn't lined up his chief of staff for the job, the last three Congressmen from this district basically "inherited" the job from their predecessor and had the Peoria/Tazewell GOP insiders seuw up the position for them in advance.
I'm alot more comfortable if we run someone from the OUTSIDE Peoria-Pekin metropolian area, and Wright fits the bill. It's high time the REST of the district had representation.
This is no surprise, it’s been expected for a few months now.
Sorry for forgetting to ping you to this one, Billy.
I’m from Aaron Schock’s District, here in Peoria, IL. You Republicans have no idea what you have here is this talented young man. Aaron is going places, big places. And in a state who’s Republican party has been devastated by Topinka and George Ryan, it would behoove the powers that be to take note and support this natural. Yes, this young man is a natural!
He was going to run for school board here at the age of 19, and he got kicked off the ballot by the older, entrenched politican. So what did he do? He ran a WRITE IN CAMPAIGN and WON!
Those of you that are concerned that he won his State Rep. Seat by only a few hundred votes, don’t be. The article doesn’t tell you that the district he represents is 60-70% DEMOCRAT. Yet he was able to reach those voters and win their support. He went around door to door asking voters to support him and explaining his conservative views. I have NEVER had a politician come around to my door before asking for my vote. Aaron is dedicated, talented, and takes nothing for granted.
He then won re-election to his State seat by a huge margin, again this is a 60-70% DEMOCRATIC DISTRICT. But they love him. he gets votes from across the aisles, yet governs as a conservative.
Aaron Schock is the future of the Illinois Republican Party. I hope everyone will support him, and I know i certainly will. He is one of the few bright spots for Republicans in IL.
Welcome to FR, Peorian.
I hope young Rep. Schock can steer clear of the corrupting and soul-destroying influence of “the Combine.” We need more reformers in IL willing to smash the establishment to bits. Of course, if Mr. Schock is one of those stepping up to the challenge, they will want to destroy him first... just like what they and LaThug did with Sen. Pete Fitzgerald. :-\
I think that Aaron Schock has great potential. The only question now is, can the Democrats get Kevin Lyons (the Peoria County State’s Attorney) to run? If so, this race will be a big one.
Either way, Shock would be favored.
Thanks for the welcome.
I actually have a different take than you on Fitzgerald and Lahood than you do. Both i feel were good Republicans, although Fitgerald was the more conservative. I just always got the feeling that Fitzgerald quit because he never really wanted the job in the first place. It always seemed that he just wanted the title and wasn’t dedicated to the cause. He should have locked that Senate seat up for several decades, but left it open because of his own selfishness.
Lahood, i’m not sure where you’re getting LaThug from? Perhaps this is in reference to his asking Jack Ryan to step aside and allowing Obama to waltz to a free senate seat? I put the blame for that on Topinka, who wringed her hands figuring out who to appoint to the Republican nomination. She bypassed her rivals and made a mockery of the party by picking Alan Keyes. Topinka and George Ryan destroyed the Republican party in IL. Lahood I always thought was a decent Representative. Not the best, but good.
But I do know this much, Aaron Schock is the real deal. He has that quality that you can’t teach someone - electability. People just love him, no matter their political persuasion. He is truly a godsend for Illinois Republicans. And once he makes the national stage, he will be a national Republican star as he makes all the talk shows as the youngest memeber of Congress.
Yes, we do have a different take. I think Fitzgerald was a bonafide statesman. The best Senator from Illinois since Ev Dirksen. He was also not a member of “the Combine.” Because he wasn’t, he had to be destroyed.
I call LaHood “LaThug”, because he is well known as the enforcer for the GOP wing of the Combine. He did the dirty work of kneecapping Fitzgerald at every turn and making sure he would not be around for a second term. The Combine doesn’t care which party a Senator is from as long as they aren’t a reformer. Since Obama and Durbin won’t interfere with the GOP Combiners, there’s no problem. LaThug and Co. wanted the likes of RINO Loleta Didrickson in 1998, and to their horror, Fitz upended here. He had to be destroyed. Same went for Al Salvi in 1996 when he upended Combiner Bob Kustra (the real definition of somebody who didn’t want the job he was running for — Fitzgerald most certainly did want his job, but when your own party does its damndest to undermine everything you do and threaten to run people against you, it’s quite hard to do your job).
It’s funny, I was watching the other day a book discussion with ex-Gov. Dan Walker, himself an outsider reformer from the Dem side, and he discussed how impossible it was to do his job when the Combine (the Daleyites and Simonites) made his single term a hell on earth — all because he defeated the anointed one — then-Lt Gov. Paul Simon — in ‘72.
Topinka herself is too stupid a person to mastermind any antics, she just follows orders. The IL GOP has some profoundly serious problems, and until it dumps these crooked “business as usual” types that play footsie with the rodents, of which they are ethically and morally indistinguishable from, the problem will never be solved.
Every last Combine Republican needs to be run out of office in the state of Illinois, and from out of leadership, all the way down to the precinct levels. They’re a cancer, and if that cancer isn’t excised, they will convert the state into a permanent rodent bastion for the forseeable future.
I sincerely hope Mr. Schock has absolutely no ties to this corrupt regime, and that includes LaThug the Enforcer.
Actually, Al Salvi engineered his own defeat in the 1996 general election. Remember when he made that idiotic claim that Jim Brady had once sold machine guns? The Combine didn’t force him to do that.
I vaguely recalled that incident, which was a dumb one. Somebody must’ve either been pulling his leg telling him that at a campaign event, or deliberately misinformed him (frankly, I wouldn’t put it past the Combine to have planted the person to tell him such a story and help sabotage his campaign — although Salvi should’ve double-checked his facts). Even absent that gaffe, the Combine had no problems with the election of Durbin, who positioned himself as a protege of Paul Simon (a member of the rodent side of the Combine), and they did zilch (vis a vis the GOP Combine establishment) to aide Salvi. Personally, I think even if Bob Kustra had beaten Salvi for the nomination, he would’ve similarly lost to Durbin. It was quite apparent how much he wanted out of political office.
Maybe if this guy wins, Republicanism in IL won’t be a lost cause.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.