Just thought I'd post something about this, since I haven't seen anything up on the site and I've been following the race with a good deal of interest this past couple of weeks. According to the News-Gazette, Greene County Attorney General Matt Goetten, who narrowed perpetual Democratic congressional candidate David Gill's lead to just 143 votes after the Macoupin County count finally came in early this morning, says he won't concede until all ballots are in.
Goetten's campaign manager, Vlad Gutman, said absentee, provisional and overseas ballots still remain to be counted and that they could affect the current 143-vote margin. He said the Goetten campaign would not concede defeat.Just how many overseas Democratic ballots might there be, particularly from active area Armed Forces members still serving in Afghanistan and elsewhere? Given that Goetten himself is an Afghanistan veteran, this could have a small but significant impact, particularly since someone from Gill's campaign made a snipe at Goetten's military service:
"We are up against a Blue Dog candidate selected by the DCCC who won't even talk about woman's healthcare issue. He is not cerebral and not progressive. Matt Goetten is a second generation state's attorney who spent a year in Afghanistan probably writing contracts to pay back law school," charges Pamella Gronemeyer, who is listed as an endorser of Gill on his website.Um, yeah, that's not gonna help. Really, Gill himself has been behaving like a petulant, spoiled little boy during the last part of the campaign, smearing his opponent by calling him pro-life (even though Goetten, a Catholic, insists that he absolutely supports Planned Parenthood and considers abortion a private matter between a woman and her doctor) and deluging area Democrats with flyers that continue the trumpet the same unfounded accusations and irritating robocalls (at least twice a day on my machine). He's behaving as if he is entitled to the Democratic nomination simply because he has run three (unimpressive, losing) campaigns against Johnson. Even his victory speech was unsportsmanlike, refusing to congratulate Goetten for a race well run.
I also think the "Blue Dog" epithet is unfair and probably inaccurate: while Goetten probably isn't going to push for single-payer healthcare, (which is the only reason why the fratboy-run Chicago Tribune seems to have endorsed him) his views as expressed in this questionnaire generally show him to be a reasonable, if somewhat more moderate Democrat than Gill.
The Champaign-Urbana area has traditionally been one of the large but isolated blue squares in the red sea that is downstate Illinois. Gill is well known and supported in the more progressive college towns of Champaign-Urbana and Bloomington, but that hasn't been enough for him to win--even in 2008, when he might have swept in on Obama's coattails, his support actually decreased. (Not taking advantage of the 2008 election to run a strong campaign, even on a shoestring, was what finally compelled me to give up on him.)
On the other hand, Goetten is well-known and well-liked in the more rural areas of our new district, he has experience in Illinois politics (which the politically naive Gill lacks), and Champaign-Urbana progressives like me hate Tim Johnson and want him gone--you can rely on us to vote for Goetten. Our redrawn district is much bluer than it was in 2010, but Johnson is entrenched and currently has a lot more money in his campaign chest than either of the Democrats ($526,000 to their ~$150,000 each). To me, he seems a much more electable Democrat for this district than Gill, and his politics are more than acceptable, if not as purely progressive as I might have preferred.
Remember, we need to focus on the big picture: retaking control of Congress from the GOP clownmobile. The Democrats of IL-13 have a chance to play a small but significant part in this year's election. If Gill wins after all, I'll be behind him all the way, despite my disappointment in his less-than-classy behavior during the primary campaign. I'll probably even go out and campaign for him. But this time he'd better damn well win--no excuses.