Republicans Begin Search to Replace Turelli
The candidate's campaign manager and former opponent are just two names floating around to jump into the 58th District House race.
The day after Lauren Turelli dropped out of the 58th District House of Representatives race, the Republican party has already begun the search for a replacement candidate.
Turelli, who did not return calls from Patch, issued a statement Tuesday explaining that personal circumstances would not enable her to "devote 100 percent of my time and energy to this race, which the Republican party and my supporters expect and deserve" in her race against Democrat Scott Drury.
Since then, Lake County Republican Party Chairman Bob Cook has already begun taking calls with suggestions for who should replace her. Though he admits the news of Turelli's withdrawal was sudden, Cook has set up a meeting with the other township chairmen in the 58th District to begin the formal process of finding a new candidate.
"We're going to talk about who we think can hit the ground running and who can win this race," Cook said.
Former opponent, campaign manager may run
"There are certain advantages to him being in the race," Cook said, "but at this point there is no frontrunner."
A replacement will be chosen by a weighted vote among Cook and the two Republican Cook County chairmen after the group meets with other leading Republicans to discuss those who have voiced their interest.
Someone who is likely to pursue the opportunity is Mark Shaw, Turelli's former campaign manager. The attorney and Republican 10th Congressional District State Committeeman told Patch on Wednesday he's been asked by other Republicans to consider running in Turelli's place.
"I'm humbled by that and I'm seriously considering throwing my hat in the ring on this," Shaw said.
A fundraising head start
Turelli's decision to withdraw forces the Republican party to find a new candidate who will start campaigning against a Democrat to replace a Democrat (retiring state Rep. Karen May) with a three month fundraising lead.
"Fundraising is not going to be the best situation to be in," Shaw said. "The more time you have to go out and meet people… the better."
Cook, however, doesn't seem worried about Drury's head start.
"Illinois desperately needs a change," he said. "I really think this is going to be the Republican year."
Drury told Patch Wednesday that he didn't see Turelli's departure coming, but that his campaign would remain consistent regardless of who he's running against from the Republican party.
"The campaign has always been about our message, not about our opponent's message," Drury said.
He also dismissed the idea that the fundraising head start put him in a comfortable position for the race ahead.
"If anything, we need our supporters to know that it's critical they continue to support us," Drury said. "Now is not the time to sit back and rest."