Ill. Sen. Suzi Schmidt Defies Critics, Will Seek Re-Election

Lake Villa Republican recently came under scrutiny after comments she made to a police dispatcher and officers during domestic disturbances at her home

By BJ Lutz and Mary Ann Ahern
|  Wednesday, Oct 5, 2011  |  Updated 10:52 PM CDT
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State GOP Chair "Disappointed" Schmidt Keeping Seat

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State GOP Chair "Disappointed" Schmidt Keeping Seat

Embattled State Sen. Suzi Schmidt said Wednesday she will not heed calls for her to stop down. In fact, she said she plans to run for re-election.
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Embattled State Sen. Suzi Schmidt said Wednesday she will not heed calls for her to stop down. In fact, she said she plans to run for re-election.

Schmidt recently came under scrutiny after comments she made to a police dispatcher and officers during recent domestic disturbances at her home.

The Lake Villa Republican, representing the state's 31st District, was heard on a 911 tape released last week asking Lake County sheriff’s deputies during a call on Christmas Day not to respond to her home if her husband called them.

"I'm having a little problem with my husband right now," she was heard saying on the tape. "But it’s fine, so if he calls you, you can ignore him."

State Republican Chair Pat Brady said he was "disappointed" in Schmidt's decision to retain her seat, saying the content of that phone call was "inappropriate."

Another member of her own party, Lake County Board member Larry Leafblad, told the Chicago Sun-Times earlier in the day Wednesday that he'd informed Schmidt of his intentions to run against her because her "negatives are too high."

"I told her, ‘Imagine what would happen if the Democratic spin doctors run those 911 tapes in the commercials next fall. They’re going to crucify you, Suzi, and I can’t stand that happening to you,’” Leafblad said, according to the Sun-Times.

Still, she has her supporters, like Lake County Republican Party leader Bob Cook, who told the Daily Herald he "couldn't be happier" Schmidt decided to stay in office.

Schmidt's full statement:

"I have spent the past few days reflecting on my future and that of the citizens of my district. As a public official I accept the immense responsibility that comes with the job. I also accept the additional scrutiny on all aspects of my life. As has been widely reported in the media, after 31 years of marriage, my husband and I have been engaged in marital disputes that have resulted in inappropriate behavior. In the emotion of the dispute, I placed a call to the Sheriff's office on Christmas morning that was inappropriate. My embarrassment and extreme disappointment with our situation in no way justified or excused my behavior, which was wrong. 

As one might expect, I was concerned that the humiliating details of our marital dispute would be disclosed in the public arena, and this fear clouded my judgment.

Again I offer my sincere apologies to the citizens of Lake County for this lapse in judgment, and I hope my constituents can forgive me.

This week I have begun counseling to help in resolving the issues in my personal life. I believe I can and will continue to serve the citizens of Lake County with the same dedication and energy I've had for the past 25 years, and the issues in my personal life will not prohibit me from doing the job they elected me to do.
I am continuing to circulate petitions to run for re-election in 2012, and I hope I continue to earn the support of the citizens of the 31st District.

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