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Newest Campaign Reform Law Pairs Gov and Lt. Gov Candidates

A new law sponsored by State Sen. Kwame Raoul will require candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor to campaign jointly beginning with the state’s nominating petition process in future elections.

The law will provide substantial reform and accountability to elections for the Lt. Governor post which has come under high scrutiny since candidates Scott Lee Cohen and Jason Plummer won Illinois’ 2010 primary.

The Springfield State Journal-Register noted “Neither party distinguished itself this year in picking the person who would be Illinois’ second banana. Democratic primary victor Scott Lee Cohen had to drop out of the general election because of his checkered past. Republican voters have nominated 27-year-old Jason Plummer, whose government experience basically consists of a few internships.”

“If a lieutenant governor candidate doesn’t share the mission and views of a gubernatorial nominee, the system fails. Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to finance an office in which this system is compromised,” Raoul said.

Raoul feels this new campaign reform will help provide accountability and allow voters to learn more about candidates for the state’s number 2 post.

“During previous primary cycles, lt. governor candidates in both parties chose not to endorse a candidate for governor due to weariness of political repercussions. Under this law candidates would have to be honest about not only who they think can win but who they’d like to serve with,” Raoul said.

Raoul believes the spirit of the Constitution calls for trust between the two offices. The constitution instructs the lieutenant governor to execute powers and duties “that may be delegated to him by the governor and that may be prescribed by law.”

Raoul adds that “gubernatorial candidates and their running mates should be forced to sincerely illustrate how the tandem would coexist through a thoroughly vetted party primary. In the event that a gubernatorial candidate cannot fulfill the duties of the office of governor, voters should be assured that the running-mate is prepared and can fulfill a like-minded vision.”

The bill is House Bill 5820.

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