Jim Oberweis finally wins an election
BY ERIKA WURST Sun-Times Media email@example.com November 7, 2012 6:08PM
Jim Oberweis spent most of the day after winning a seat on the Illinois Senate making phone calls in his office at the Oberweis Dairy in North Aurora on Wednesday, November 7, 2012. | Steven Buyansky~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 9, 2012 7:45PM
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again . . . and again and again and again and again and again.
Republican Jim Oberweis, who after running for elected office five previous times, won a seat in the Illinois Senate in Tuesday’s election.
Oberweis, 66, chairman of Oberweis Dairy and founder of Oberweis Asset Management, took about 58 percent of Tuesday’s vote, and defeated Democratic challenger Corinne Pierog of St. Charles in the race.
Despite finally getting a win — after running unsuccessfully in previous races for governor and the U.S. House and Senate — Oberweis said the victory was bittersweet.
“It was a very disappointing evening, actually,” Oberweis said on Wednesday from his North Aurora office. “After last night’s results, I’m afraid it will be very difficult to accomplish anything in Springfield.”
As a Republican, Oberweis said he was hoping to find his party leading in the House or Senate — or “at least hold down or gain a seat or two.”
But that wasn’t the case, and now, the first-time senator will have to work even harder to make his voice heard.
With the defeat of four House Republican incumbents and a net gain of seven seats, House Speaker Michael Madigan secured a 71-47 veto-proof majority in the Illinois House.
The results were similar — and more historic — in the Senate for Senate President John Cullerton. Democrats picked up a net gain of five seats in the Senate, giving Cullerton a 40-19 veto-proof majority.
Despite the setback for the GOP in Springfield, Oberweis said he will keep moving forward.
“When I get to Springfield, I will try to understand the position of the other side, and see where there might be common ground where we can work together,” he said. “Had things gone the other way, I’d feel a lot more optimistic that we could fix some of the financial problems [Illinois] is facing. I hope we can, but I’m much more concerned about that.”