Committeeman Hopefuls Key in on Communication

Article excerpt

Byline: Jamie Sotonoff Daily Herald Staff Writer

In Hanover Township, where there are nearly as many Democrats as Republicans, the job of a committeeman becomes a critical one.

A committeeman must turn out the vote, find volunteers, distribute information, and promote their political party. Because they are in close contact with the voters, committeemen are considered powerful, behind-the-scenes players and command authority from politicians statewide.

Four people are seeking to fill two committeeman posts in Hanover Township during the March 17 primary. In both the Republican and Democratic race, the challengers are accusing the incumbents of doing a poor job of communicating with their party members.

In the Republican race, Marie Downey, the Hanover Township clerk between 1976 and 1996, is challenging the incumbent, State Sen. Steven Rauschenberger.

Downey, 60, lives in Streamwood and Rauschenberger, 42, lives in Elgin. Both have extensive political experience - albeit on different levels - and are well-known names in Hanover Township.

Downey said she is running because she is frustrated with inconsistent communication from the Hanover Township Republican organization. If elected, Downey said she would send out mailings and hold meetings regularly, not just around election time.

Rauschenberger said the Republican organization in Hanover Township has been active and organized during his five years as committeeman. …