EXPANDED VERSION - McCoy wants more attention on 106th District race

DeWayne Bartels

Scott McCoy, candidate for the newly created 106th State Representative seat thinks there is too little media and voter attention to this race.

McCoy wants debates and he is asking for something many candidates would rather not have — more vetting by the media.

In an open letter, dated Oct. 20, McCoy sent to all local Republican Central Committees, Tea Parties, and the local media within the new 106th House District in Illinois, McCoy expressed  concern “over the lack of in-depth vetting and serious discussion in our race.”

He wrote, “With four candidates and no incumbent, the people will need to learn more about each of us in order to make an informed decision. They need to learn more about our backgrounds, our records, our character, and what sets us apart from each other.”

McCoy said the parades and short addresses have not provided substance  or debate.  

“As the campaign season heats up, some candidates are now resorting to misleading voters with incorrect information or wild statements they can’t support,” McCoy wrote.

“I believe we need to engage in a real discussion on the serious issues we face in our District and in Illinois. I want to move past the campaign novelties and begin the important dialog people want to hear, so the voters can be informed when they make their decision on who will represent them in Springfield.”

McCoy in an interview with the Woodford Times, said the current dismal state of Illinois’ affairs is what led him to  issue this challenge.

McCoy said despite the fact it is early in the campaign — votes will not be cast in the primary until March — there are several reasons to get down to serious campaigning.

“First, it is a new district and many people are not sure what district they are in.  Second, the district is huge.  Reaching every corner of the district is going to take the entire campaign season.  Third, with absentee voting and early voting, we need to reach voters now so they can make an informed decision when they vote,” McCoy said. “Fourth, we need continuing dialog on the issues we face in Illinois and in the new 106th District.  If we aren’t discussing the issues, then why are we running for state representative?”

Eureka reisdent and political activist Chrissy Casey said she supports McCoy’s effort to get more discussion of the race going.

“It is unusual for a candidate to ask for more media vetting. But, I can see where he’s coming from. It’s a really big district,” Casey said.

“A lot of people don’t realize we have been re-districted. I think he’s being pro-active. It’s a good idea on his part ... Government is made by the people who show up. If you don’t like what’s going on, show up and participate.”

Asked to elaborate on his charge of “incorrect information” and “wild statements,” McCoy offered this: “The other candidates are making generic statements like, ‘I have the broadest background’ or ‘I’m the only candidate with experience working with charities,’ and there is no opportunity to respond or dispute it.  

“When campaigning by only giving short talks to voters, candidates can say just about anything without any challenge, because they know they won’t be questioned on it in that forum. The other candidates have realized this as the campaign season moves forward, and they are taking advantage of it to the point they are simply not telling the truth.”

McCoy also said the race is too low-key in the media’s view at this point.

“I prefer media coverage over candidates marketing themselves, because it’s from an outside source that isn’t trying to ‘sell’ a candidate to the voters,”McCoy said.  “The candidates in any race need to be vetted by the media and the public.  Otherwise, people will only be voting on name recognition or if they remember getting a fingernail file from a specific candidate at a parade. That’s not what we need. If that’s how you get elected, I can see why we have the problems we have in this state and country.”

McCoy said the interest among media and Tea Party members has grown since the release of his letter.  

About three weeks ago McCoy was knocking on doors in Eureka and El Paso.

“In El Paso, I had a woman tell me she has been a Democrat all her life, but she is so mad with U.S. Senator Durbin and with President Obama that she will not vote for a Democrat. Another woman, who is a state employee, began crying as she told me about how scared she is over her pension,” McCoy said.

McCoy said what he is hearing in Woodford County is somewhat different from what he is hearing in other parts of the district, but there are also common themes.

“Everyone is concerned over the business climate and jobs, the state’s pension situation, the state paying bills (especially for schools and social services),” McCoy said.  

“I’d have to say the No. 1 issue raised by people all over the district would be how they don’t trust the politicians in Springfield or Washington D.C. These comments about politicians are usually very colorful. There is no question people are not happy with where we are or with the elected officials who are supposed to be leading the way.”