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Kane County Chairwoman Says Economic Crisis Among Reasons for State Senate Seat Bid

Chairwoman Karen McConnaughay made her announcement Wednesday in West Dundee.

  • Source: Edited from a press release provided by Karen McConnaughay’s campaign.

Citing the need to tackle the state’s chronic mismanagement and economic crisis, Kane County Board Chairwoman Karen McConnaughay announced Wednesday that she will not seek a third term as the County Chief Executive, but will run for the Illinois State Senate in District 33.

Before a crowd of supporters on the River Walk in West Dundee, McConnaughay, (R-St. Charles), pledged to work to get Illinois back to work and to reduce the size and inefficiency of government.  She stated that Kane County and the rest of the state will not be able to realize economic recovery until the state government makes serious changes to reform the way it does business.

West Dundee Village President Larry Keller introduced McConnaughay.  

“Springfield will benefit from Karen McConnaughay, she identifies the challenges, finds solutions and builds consensus to get the job don," said Keller. "And she does so without compromise to her core belief that the taxpayers always come first. I have worked with Karen and know how dedicated she is to the Fox Valley community. She is a straight shooter who possesses the Integrity and leadership skills that are needed to turn this state around.” 

“My friends, this is a pretty simple agenda. It is the kind of no-nonsense, fiscally conservative plan that has proven successful in Kane County. And it is what I passionately believe in," said McConnaughay, who was elected Chairman in 2004. “We can reduce the size and spending of government, we can deliver services smartly and efficiently and we can try to leave the people freer to pursue the dreams of success that fuel economic growth.”

McConnaughay said her experience as chief executive of the fifth largest county in the state will be vital in addressing the state’s crisis of leadership.  

“In these tough times, we’ve consistently reduced spending and balanced our budget, we’ve actually improved our bond rating and resisted the temptation to borrow money to grow government,” she said.

As Chairman, McConnaughay has reduced the number of employees in departments under her control by 25 percent.  Since 2008, she has reduced general revenue fund expenditures by nearly 12 percent and the County’s bond rating has improved from "AA" to "AA+," according to Moody’s.

McConnaughay referenced her start in politics as a community activist. As a young mother she rallied and organized her neighbors to fight against the condemnation of her family’s and 26 neighbor’s backyards for a proposed bike path which ultimately led to a change in Illinois eminent domain laws. That effort lead her to a seek solutions through public service. 

No current state senator resides in the newly drawn 33rd Senate District which includes much of northern Kane County and southern McHenry County.  In both her general elections as County Board Chairman, McConnaughay has received over 60% of the vote in the precincts that make up the 33rd and in the 2008 primary she received two-thirds of the Republican votes cast in the new district.

In her announcement, McConnaughay laid out her agenda and priorities. She will push for more significant reform of state employee pensions, reduce spending and focus resources on job creation and education. She will also work to make government more efficient and promote consolidation of duplicative layers of government.

“I believe our best days are ahead of us, not behind us,” said McConnaughay. “I believe that the General Assembly can find better solutions to the problems that face us.”

Jeff Ward June 30, 2011 at 12:53 PM
Dan, It's like deja vu all over again!
Sandy Kaczmarski June 30, 2011 at 03:09 PM
I attended a public meeting on the state of Kane County during which the board chairman insisted she had nothing to do with redistricting and hadn't even "seen a map." How curious to see a new district pop up where she lives. Just an observation.
Jeff Ward June 30, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Sandy, She's right! She had nothing to with it. McConnaughay was essentially "recruited" by Denny Hastert, Dallas Ingemunson, Kirk Dillard and Tom Cross who created this new district specifically for her. Hastert and Ingemunson, who brought us Ms. McConnaughay in the first place, are the kind of political leeches that need to go the way of our latest former governor. Jeff
Jim MacRunnels June 30, 2011 at 03:35 PM
Mr. Keller, you call Karen a "fiscally concervative". Can you explain to everyone why she spent over $400,000 on her last campaign?
Karen Phillips June 30, 2011 at 05:40 PM
Karen's biggest strength at this point in time is that she can "reinvent" herself in a district that is not very familiar with her record. It will be up to the media in the north end of the county to research the line item expenditures to ensure that before a vote is taken in the primary voters are informed of the facts involving the spending decisions made at the county. I think an important item for discussion is whether the Illinois Senate GOP intends to finance Ms. McConnaughay's campaign. They usually do not involve themselves in contested GOP Senate primaries. I am fairly confident that this will be a contested primary. Does the Senate GOP leadership intend to sponsor Karen? Does Karen intend to fill a full term and represent the 33rd district without leaving to campaign somewhere in the midst of a term? All of these questions are important to the debate as time progresses.

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