Monday, July 12, 2010

Fringe candidates give voters a choice

Illinois voters looking for another option in this November's governor's race - say a candidate from a political party that hasn't had a governor federally indicted in the past decade - have some choices.

Call them political misfits, outsiders perhaps, but third-party candidates with last names such as Cohen, Green, Walls, White and Whitney are hoping a combination of voter outrage and a political implosion in Springfield could make this the year in Illinois when pigs fly.

Politically speaking, of course.

"Now is the right time for a non-incumbent, a non-career politician - whether it's Democrat, Republican, third-party or independent. People are tired of these incumbents, these career politicians," Independent gubernatorial candidate Scott Lee Cohen said.

That's not likely, said Kent Redfield, a political scientist at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Cohen's name recognition stemming from the lieutenant governor's debacle may translate into some votes if he stays on the ballot, Redfield said. And while Whitney may do better at the polls than he did four years ago, he'll at best only get enough votes to influence who wins between Brady and Quinn, he said.

Most people who vote for third-party candidates are protesting the mainstream candidates more than anything else, Redfield said.

Redfield's comments were featured in a July 10, 2010, edition of the Southtown Star.

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