That Guy Who Ran Against Preckwinkle Flees the State

Roger Keats, that guy you didn’t vote for in the Cook County Board President’s race, is apparently taking the loss so hard he’s leaving Illinois.

Keats, the former Republican state senator who got 26 percent of the vote against Toni Preckwinkle, is so fed up with high taxes and political corruption he’s moving to the Republican-friendly state of Texas.

“A notice to all of our friends,” Keats announced on his Facebook page. “Tina and I have sold our home in Wilmette and we are moving to The Hill Country in Texas. I am tired of living in a state run by crooks and idiots that think they can raise taxes 67% and not expect people to vote with their feet and move.”

In an article in their hometown newspaper, The Wilmette Beacon, Keats and his wife, Tina, elaborated on the decision.

They are moving outside Austin, she and Roger said, in part because of the weather and because family is there. But also because they wanted to live in a Red state with lower taxes, a stronger financial future and less corruption.

“This is a wonderful place to live,” Roger said. “But I am tired of subsidizing crooks, and I don't want any more of it.”

Because of the duo’s strong history in state politics, they are in-the-know. And that isn’t always a good thing.

“We have the disadvantage of knowing too much,” Tina said. “During the last election I would talk to people about the state's pension liability and the budget deficit and they wouldn't know what I was talking about. Where does it stop? I don't know. Even states like California and New York know they have to do something to get their house in order. This state has not accepted that.”

Keats called himself “the last legislator to get the better of Michael Madigan,” pointing to his passage of a bill that instituted judicial sub-circuits for Cook County, which allowed African-Americans and Republicans a spot on a bench once dominated by Irish Machine hacks.

Keats lost his senate seat to North Shore Democrat Grace Mary Stern in 1992. Since then, Illinois has become less and less friendly to Republicans. Keats, who was trying to become the first GOP county board president since the 1960s, even lost New Trier Township to Preckwinkle by 1,000 votes.

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