Mettawa’s Urlacher, seeking statehouse appointment, hopes GOP will overlook Democrat ties
Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher is among the candidates vying for the open statehouse seat of disgraced state Rep. Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington), but he'll have to convince GOP leaders he's really one of them.
Urlacher, who sources tell the Lake County Gazette met Illinois House GOP Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) recently to discuss the 51st District vacancy, boasts Springfield experience, if on the other side of the aisle.
His 2013 campaign for mayor of tiny Mettawa (population 568) was run by former Cook County Democrat Party Executive Director Scott Cisek, who also ran both of Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's successful campaigns.
Urlacher has received campaign financing from personal injury lawyer Robert Clifford and Chicago construction executive John Novak.
Clifford is one of the most prolific Democrat donors in Illinois history. He recently gave $50,000 to the re-election campaign of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Novak was a leading supporter of former Democrat Gov. Rod Blagojevich, donating $61,300 to his campaigns, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Urlacher backed friend and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias in his successful state treasurer bid against then-Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), a close ally of Durkin's. He was later appointed to the clout-heavy Illinois Civil Service Commission by former Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn, presiding over discipline hearings for state employees. The post paid $25,000 per year.
Raised in New Mexico like his brother, Chicago Bears Hall-of-Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher, Casey Urlacher graduated from Lake Forest College before playing professional football from 2003-2006.
In 2007, he opened a West Loop nightclub called Bon V, which has since closed.
In March 2016, Urlacher placed second in a three-way primary to replace retiring state Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Barrington). Current state Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) won the seat; former Barrington Village President Martin McLaughlin took third in the race.
Urlacher is vying for the 51st District appointment with Lake Zurich Village Trustee Chris Bos, Hawthorn Woods Trustee Kelly Corrigan and Barrington Village President Karen Darch.
The 51st has 85,564 voters, predominantly in Ela (38%), Libertyville (32%), Fremont (13%) and Cuba (11%) townships. It includes parts of the communities of Deer Park, Forest Lake, Green Oaks, Hawthorn Woods, Kildeer, Lake Barrington, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Long Grove, Mundelein and North Barrington.