Fundraising should become somewhat easier for Springfield Park Board member GRAY NOLL’s state Senate campaign, thanks to last week’s endorsement of his candidacy by the Sangamon County GOP.

Fundraising should become somewhat easier for Springfield Park Board member GRAY NOLL’s state Senate campaign, thanks to last week’s endorsement of his candidacy by the Sangamon County GOP.

Noll hadn’t even formally announced that he was running for the 50th District Senate seat — which isn’t all bad, since the number of candidates was already getting a bit ridiculous and the primary won’t be until March 20.

Still, Noll has had a fundraiser and has raised just over $10,000.

He describes himself by saying, in part, that “socially, I’m conservative, but fiscally, I’m very conservative.”

The incumbent member of the Senate running in the district, SAM McCANN of Carlinville, reported this month that in July, August and September, he raised more than $44,000 and had more than $12,000 in the bank at the beginning of the period. He also notes that eight of nine GOP county chairmen in his district are backing him, and his construction business has long been active in Sangamon County.

A third Republican still in the race, Springfield Ward 9 Ald. STEVE DOVE, made some news when he loaned his own Senate campaign $50,000, which brought his three-month fundraising total to nearly $68,000. Just last week, Dove got a $25,000 donation from the Illinois Realtors Political Action Committee. Dove is a Realtor.

As of the end of September, Dove also still had more than $23,000 in his aldermanic campaign fund. Legally, he could use money from that fund to help with his state Senate campaign, but his immediate plan is to leave that where it is.

Another Sangamon County Republican who took a serious look at the new 50th Senate District — where state Sen. LARRY BOMKE, R-Springfield, has announced he won’t run — was KENT GRAY, an elected member of the Lincoln Land Community College board. He had loaned himself a whopping $92,000 on Sept. 30. But now that he’s decided to back off the race and back Noll, he can pay himself back.

Term-limit interpretation
In case you were wondering, the city of Springfield’s top lawyer believes that the Springfield city code’s term limit provision — no one can serve more than three consecutive aldermanic terms — remains in effect for Alds. FRANK EDWARDS of Ward 1 and Dove in Ward 9.

Edwards, of course, had a stint as mayor following the death Dec. 14 of Mayor TIM DAVLIN. Dove left his aldermanic seat for a time to be executive assistant to Edwards.

TRACY PEDERSEN, who recently left the city’s legal office to go into private practice, said earlier this year that the way the term limit language is worded, the time away from their aldermanic seats wouldn’t affect Edwards, who is in his third term, or Dove, who is in his second.  And MARK CULLEN, now the city’s corporation counsel, agrees.

Section 30.03 of the code states: “No person shall be elected to the office of mayor, city clerk, city treasurer or alderman for more than three consecutive four-year terms in each office.”  Despite their breaks in service, Pedersen had said, “each election counts” for Edwards and Dove.
“I wouldn’t do it anyway,” Edwards said when I asked if he might seek a fourth term. “I’m not going to play that type of game.”

Given that Dove is running for the GOP nomination for state Senate in the 50th District, this might be a moot point. But he also said that if it should come to it, he has no plans to seek a fourth term on the council. He called his time helping then-Mayor Edwards a “blip” in his aldermanic service.

“That’s not a loophole that I want to sneak through,” he said.

Gab promoted
DWAYNE GAB, 50, of Springfield recently took over as chief of the civil division of the Sangamon County state’s attorney’s office. JIM GROHNE, who held the position for many years, retired this summer.

Gab, a Berwyn native, practiced law in Chicago and St. Louis before working for the Sangamon County state’s attorney’s office from 1991 to 1995. He returned in 1997 to join the civil division. He’s handled a wide range of duties in the office, including acting as parliamentarian for the county board.

“Dwayne is an excellent attorney, very bright and sharp legal mind who is an asset to this office and the county,” said State’s Attorney JOHN MILHISER.

Grohne was making $95,242 annually upon his retirement. Gab moved from $79,521 to $92,000 annually when he was promoted to the top civil post. He and his wife, LuANN, have a 17-year-old son, NICHOLAS, who is a sophomore at Sacred Heart-Griffin.

Schock comments on Congress
When appearing last week before the Rotary Club of Springfield-South, U.S. Rep. AARON SCHOCK, R-Peoria, talked about the frustrations of trying to get things done in Congress, but he also gave the membership an endorsement — kind of.

“I know all the jokes about politicians and congressmen and what-have-you,” Schock said. “But I guarantee you, no matter what profession, you put 435 of them in a room, there’s going to be some idiots and there’s going to be some people who say some stupid things and do some stupid things. And certainly Congress is no exception.

“But there’s also a lot of good people that I serve with that are trying to do the right thing.”

Topinka staffers walk
Staff members of Comptroller JUDY BAAR TOPINKA raised more than $5,700 through their participation in “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walks in Springfield and Chicago last weekend, Topinka spokesman BRAD HAHN reports. Nearly 20 percent of the staff — 45 volunteers — participated.

Bernard Schoenburg is political columnist for The State Journal-Register. He can be reached at 788-1540 or bernard.schoenburg@sj-r.com.