Tim Johnson’s recent victory in Illinois’ Republican primary for Congress didn’t get much notice outside of the Washington Beltway, but it’s important.
Johnson overcame the congressional establishment and hereditary succession by convincing voters he was not just another politician. Too often our next congressman moves back from Washington to run for office. Or goes to Washington to get the blessing and funding of the DC crowd in order to run. Where does that leave the voters of the district? Do we get to choose only after the power elite in Washington make their choice?
House Speaker Dennis Hastert picked his candidate for Illinois’ 15th congressional district State Rep. Bill Brady. He put the enormous power of his congressional office behind Brady. The other candidate against Tim Johnson was Sam Ewing, son of the current congressman Tom Ewing. It’s not rare for congressional seats to go from father to son, but it reminds me of the days when political power followed family bloodlines from king to prince.
Tim Johnson is different. He seeks to represent his district, not join the Washington club. He pledged to return home after three terms, while the others wanted a career in Congress. Said Johnson, “The seniority system in Congress hurts all of us because it rewards those who put their own reelection concerns above all else. I will enter Congress knowing full well the date upon which I will leave. I will focus entirely on the good of my district and my country.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.