I knew it was going to be a good night for Dan Duffy when I got the results for the Grant Township precincts I was assigned to collect. One of those precincts was that of Dan’s opponent (although I may have that wrong, one of my posters said he’s in Grant 137 that Dan won) and they were the first results I got — Dan lost by less than 20 votes. After I saw that I knew it was going to be a good night for Dan and it was.
Dan took the other two Grant Township precincts I was a pollwatcher at and with my results phoned in I drove down to the party at 111 Grille (formerly Chessies) in Barrington. The place was totally packed when I arrived — full of enthusiastic Duffy supporters looking forward to a great evening and for our guy and Representative Ed Sullivan, Jr. who was also there, it certainly was.
Outgoing Senator Bill Peterson arrived not too long after I did and I was amazed he remembered me as I hadn’t seen him in probably 6 or 7 years since our troubles in Round Lake Area Schools were coming to a head. We had a good talk about the future of RLAS and how things were turning around and he had a big smile because he knew all the difficulty we had and what a mess it was. Not long after that Dan’s lovely wife Kris arrived with all five of their kids and was just aglow at the turnout and was just so thankful to everyone who was there.
A bit after that Dan arrived, I was just coming back to the front table with some refreshment for the lovely Mel who was one of Dan’s hard working staffers. I had seen Lake County was 65-35 in his favor on my iPhone and I was one of the first to offer my congratulations. About an hour after that Dan was giving his victory speech to the enthusiastic crowd.
It was truly a wonderful night full of folks telling their stories about Dan and how hard he worked on this campaign and what a truly genuine human being he is. If you’ve met Dan, you know what I mean. If you haven’t met Dan, you’re missing out on a special guy who is all about family and community service. We truly are lucky to have someone like Dan to represent us in the quagmire of corruption and bureaucracy that is Springfield. Dan told everyone there that this is just the beginning of the journey now and how he knows he will face many challenges down in Springfield but “I’m ready to take on Blagojevich” he said to huge cheers from the crowd.
The crowd started to dissipate after that of course and mainly family and campaign workers were left. I had many great conversations with folks about Round Lake and how things were going for us and that I was there, despite where Dan’s opponent came from, because I believed in Dan from the moment I sat down with him at Bill’s Pub back in March and I asked him to tell me whey he deserved my support. I was as impressed then as I am now.
I was also impressed and grateful to the voters who looked beyond party in voting for Dan. Dan won a lot of precincts that Obama won so clearly the voters are intelligent, follow what’s going on, and didn’t buy into just voting down party lines because overall, it was an abysmal night for Republicans. Not for those of us who worked for Dan though, it was an incredible night, a hopeful night of greater things to come.
Congratulations Dan Duffy, Tina, and all the hard working staffers. You guys did it and rose above it all to deliver a big win. It was a hard fought campaign and only after you work and fight that hard can you truly comprehend the great victory.