Ward Room
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Opinion: Kirk Dillard Running For Governor, But In Which Year?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Kirk Dillard will announce his candidacy for governor of Illinois today, although it is unclear which year he’s running in.

    It may be 1990. Later today, Dillard will appear with his former boss, Gov. Jim Edgar, at a campaign stop in Decatur. Dillard was Edgar’s chief of staff in the early 1990s, before winning election to the state senate from DuPage County in 1994. During a campaign appearance at his childhood home in Lake View this morning, Dillard called Illinois “a national embarrassment” and promised to bring back the good old days -- when Edgar was governor.

    It may be 1864. Dillard’s Decatur appearance will be at the home of Gov. Richard Oglesby, an ancestor of his wife’s who fought as a general in the Civil War before serving as governor from 1865 to 1869.

    He may be running for governor in 1884. After having served a term in the U.S. Senate, Oglesby was re-elected governor that year.
    Dillard may have the perfect campaign for 2002. Dillard, a staunch opponent of gay rights, voted against the civil unions bill and the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. In August of last year, he led 11 legislators of both parties in an amicus brief to a motion filed by the conservative Thomas More Society. The Society sought to dismiss a lawsuit against Illinois’s gay marriage ban filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Lambda Legal Defense Fund. In the early 2000s, Republicans used anti-gay marriage to bring conservative voters to the polls.
    We know it’s not 2010, because he lost the Republican primary to state Sen. Bill Brady by 193 votes that year.
    I have a feeling it’s not 2014, either.