Lightford, Harmon eye top spot

Opinion: Editorials

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

There is an epic and overdue shift coming to Democratic politics in Springfield. State Senate President John Cullerton announced his coming resignation, either being chased or shamed by the corruption swirling around his caucus. Or maybe he wants to spend more time with his family.

The feds are deep into an investigation of Democratic state senators, lobbyists attached to them, and the industries footing the bill for all the political muscle. Sadly, a focus of the multiple threads of the investigation is in our general neck of the woods with State Sen. Martin Sandoval and Cook County Commissioner and McCook Mayor Jeffrey Tobolski in investigators' crosshairs. 

Add in the putrid culture of sexual harassment in the state capitol and the desire for substantive change is upon us.

Two of the names prominent in reporting of possible replacements for Cullerton are even more local. And both Kimberly Lightford and Don Harmon have made plain their interest in the promotion.

Majority Leader Lightford, of Maywood, reps River Forest, Forest Park and parts of Oak Park and Austin. She is a smart and effective legislator who has driven education reform among other issues. She has a common touch along with sharp political instincts.

Harmon, an assistant majority leader, is Oak Park's favorite son. Present and well connected locally, Harmon is a deep thinker by the standards of state government. And he is persistent, too. When a progressive income tax finally gets passed, Gov. J.B. Pritzker will get the credit. But it is Harmon who has been pushing his Fair Tax for evermore.

There are other names in the mix for what is often a once-in-a-generation opportunity. And we'll allow that the cultural forces at work in this moment point toward the virtues of a woman running the senate. 

But Illinois would benefit from either Harmon or Lightford stepping up to this key leadership role.

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

2 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Dean Rogers  

Posted: November 28th, 2019 11:31 AM

The state's acting executive inspector general released an exhaustive report on a CTA hire from late 2016 that violated the agency's rules on political favoritism. The summary of the report: The housemate of state Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, got special treatment for a diversity outreach consulting position at the CTA and then didn't work full days while there. When, after four months on the job, questions arose regarding his time sheets, he left the job, which essentially had been created for him....

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: November 28th, 2019 9:58 AM

That moment when you realize how totally screwed your generation is.

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad

Latest Comments