Could Joe Walsh Be The GOP Nominee For Governor? - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Could Joe Walsh Be The GOP Nominee For Governor?



    Could Rep. Joe Walsh, Tea Party, Ill., be the Republican Party’s next candidate for governor? Walsh, who was defeated by Tammy Duckworth on Nov. 6, discussed his political future during his final town hall last weekend,

    Am I going to run again? Here’s what I know. We’re losing our America. I have been called in whatever role to play a role trying to get this back. Whether that means I run again, who knows? Be kind of fun to run against Dick Durbin, wouldn’t it? I’ll tell you what else: this state needs a Republican Party. The reason Michael Madigan can dominate this state is because there’s no Republican Party. This Republican Party needs a Scott Walker to run for governor, and I have not seen or heard that candidate yet. I will not still by and let some establishment, fuddy-duddy Republican be our candidate again. This state needs to be totally saved, so I don’t know what I’m gonna do, but I’m gonna stay involved in this fight.
    Could Walsh win the nomination? Yes. First of all, there will be a big field of Republicans running for the chance to take on Gov Pat Quinn, who has the lowest approval ratings in the nation. Bill Brady only needed 20 percent of the vote to win the 2010 primary. Are 20 percent of Republicans monster raving loony Tea Partiers who think Walsh is a modern Paul Revere? Yes.
    Second of all, Illinois Republicans have a fatal attraction to true blue conservatives who can’t win a general election. They live in their own private Illinois, unaware -- or unwilling to believe -- that the state outside their bunkers is one of the most liberal in the nation. Here are a few examples.
    -- Al Salvi, U.S. Senate, 1996: State Rep. Salvi defeated the establishment fuddy-duddy, Lt. Gov. Bob Kustra, then lost the general election to Rep. Dick Durbin after he accused gun control advocate Jim Brady of being a machine gun dealer.
    -- Peter Fitzgerald, U.S. Senate, 1998: State Sen. Fitzgerald defeated establishment fuddy-duddy Loleta Didrickson, the state comptroller, then beat Sen. Carol Moseley Braun. But once in office, Fitzgerald was such an uncompromising conservative that he alienated his party and declined to run for re-election. To the enduring woe of Republicans everywhere, he was succeeded by state Sen. Barack Obama.
    -- Bill Brady, governor, 2010: Brady edged an establishment fuddy-duddy, state Sen. Kirk Dillard, by 192 votes. Then he lost in an upset to Gov. Pat Quinn, despite leading by 10 points in the final Chicago Tribune poll.
    Pat Quinn should be so lucky to run against Joe Walsh. Well, Quinn usually is so lucky.