While Sarah Palin's upcoming GOP fundraiser in suburban Rosemont is expected to bring big bucks to state Republicans, gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady and U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk do not plan on attending.
When organizers announced the May 12 Palin event, Kirk's spokespeople quickly told reporters he would not be attending. The Chicago Tribune reported last week:
Kirk, a five-term North Shore congressman, sought but did not get supportive words from Palin during the Senate primary campaign. Instead of attending the May 12 fundraiser in Rosemont, Kirk will be in Washington for scheduled House votes, his campaign said.
But as the Daily Herald reported Monday, Kirk is not the only one keeping his distance.
Even the very conservative Bill Brady, who has made the tea party rounds in recent months, will sit this one out, though his campaign would not tell the paper why.
"They don't want to take the risk, but I'm sure they will take the money," Paul Green, a veteran political professor with Roosevelt University, told the Herald.
In suburban congressional races, Randy Hultgren of Winfield Township and Bob Dold of Kenilworth, will also not attend.
Nor will suburban area GOP state senators like John Millner of Carol Stream and Dan Duffy of Lake Barrington.
State GOP chairman Patrick Brady told the Chicago Sun-Times that the event "is for donors" and that he did not expect big names on the state ticket to attend.
Others speculate that state Republicans are fearful that Palin's far-right rhetoric will scare off moderate voters.
"Would her approval rating in Illinois be over 50 percent? Probably not," Sen. Matt Murphy of Palatine, told the Herald, adding that he is not sure if he'll have the time to attend Palin's speech. "But there are a lot of people who respect what she has done and stands for."
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