State Representative (R) Patti Bellock Appointed to Run IL DHFS

State Representative (R) Patti Bellock Appointed to Run IL DHFS
By Julia B (recent graduate of Hinsdale Central)

On Monday, July 1, former DuPage County legislator Patti Bellock (R) accepted Governor Bruce Rauner’s appointment to serve as Director of the Illinois Department of Healthacare and Family Services (HFS).

The position is effective July 11, so Bellock will resign her seat as State Representative for the 47th District, which expires in January. Rauner must fill Bellock’s vacancy within 30 days and will appoint a new representative in the coming weeks to serve the rest of her term. Rauner will appoint a qualified Republican for the position.

It is probable that Rauner will appoint Deanne Mazzochi, Republican candidate for the same State Representative position in the 2018 general election, who ran unopposed in the primary election in March. If this happens, Jim Caffrey, Democratic candidate, will face the short end of the incumbency advantage come November.

In 2015-2016, state legislatures saw a roomy 92% incumbency re-election rate. All elected offices follow the pattern, as incumbency is the single most influential factor in an election.  Though Mazzochi (if she is in fact Rauner’s appointee) will have barely served in session before the November election, the advantage is still strong because she will have increased name recognition and access to fundraising for her campaign.

Since Monday, the race for State Representative for the 47th district is no longer an open-seat election. Rauner has taken very deliberate actions toward solidifying this seat for the Republican nominee. Jim Caffrey now has a markedly reduced shot at winning the election, which calls for more action from you. We are counting on you, now more than ever, to come volunteer with us!

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Julia B. is a summer intern at the Downers Grove Democratic Office*

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