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HomeIllinois NewsHelene Miller-Walsh appointed to represent House District 51

Helene Miller-Walsh appointed to represent House District 51

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BARRINGTON – Sunday, Lake County GOP chairman Mark Shaw listed an array of reasons why Lake County resident Helene Miller-Walsh was the "clear pick" to fill the vacancy former State Rep. Nick Sauer left when he resigned earlier this month. Walsh was sworn into office Saturday afternoon. 

"We needed a person that would be ready to be an actual state representative first, and then a candidate," Shaw, who also serves as the IL GOP's new state co-chairman and member of the party's State Central Committee, told Illinois Review. "Second, we needed a person that could jump into a campaign while serving as state representative. We're confident Helene will be able to do both." 

With less than three months left before the General Election, Miller-Walsh's experiences over the past decade added up for Shaw, who had 95 percent of the weighted vote along with Chris Geissler's 5 percent, serving the one Cook County precinct in the 51st District. 

"Helene was ready to hit the ground running with an army of volunteers she's worked with along with her husband for over a decade. She had a proven ability to raise funds, and being married to a talk show host and former congressman Joe Walsh, her name recognition will likely cause interest in the race," Shaw said.

Miller-Walsh has years of corporate experience in banking, marketing and publishing. She's also active on several boards of non-profit groups – including the Haym Solomon Center that reaches out to the North Shore Jewish community where Miller-Walsh attends synagogue. She's also on the Board of Advisors to Project HOOD – an organization working within violence-ridden Chicago neighborhoods. 

"Helene holds conservative views and I'm certain she will vote in agreement with the Illinois Republican Party platform," Shaw said. 

Shaw said over 20 persons expressed interest in the appointment, but only nine submitted the required written applications. He and Geissler personally interviewed all those that submitted written applications. From those interviews, Geissler and Shaw agreed on Walsh.

Three candidates will be on the ballot for the 51st in November: 1. Miller-Walsh, 2. a Democrat public school teacher and 3. an independent candidate. (Clarification made by editor – our apologies to Mrs. Miller-Walsh)

The 51st State Rep District has long been represented by Republicans. Together with State Rep. Dave McSweeney's (R-Barrington) neighboring 52nd District, the two House Districts make up State Senator Dan McConchie's (R-Hawthorn Woods) 26th Senate District. 

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26 COMMENTS

  1. I suppose since the people of this district elected a creep to begin with they deserve to have a GOP chairman select the Democrat public school teacher wife of a lunatic radio host finish the term.
    If the GOP chairman can’t appoint a Republican to fill a Republican seat why on earth should he expect people to vote for Republicans in November?
    I hope they lose every seat in the state and the Democrats drive it over the cliff and some new party, unaffiliated with any of the GOP poison or their dirty money.

  2. Chase Gioberti: Our apologies for not making it clear in the original version that there are 3 candidates – Mrs. Miller-Walsh is NOT a Democrat public school teacher. One of her opponents is. Mr. Walsh called IR very upset that the sentence was not clear. We have since clarified the sentence.

  3. In reply to Chase Gioberti, I’m relieved to know that I’m not the only one who found the appointment of Helene Walsh unacceptable. I likewise find the radio show of husband Joe Walsh deplorable in the way he bashes President Trump, seldom having anything nice to say about him.
    Living in Lake County, after hearing the news this past Saturday night I immediately wrote to Mark Shaw telling him of my dissatisfaction in no uncertain terms. If I’m now in dog house because of my honesty here in Lake County, so be it. I speak the truth as I see it. The establishment Republicans have taken over the Republican Party here in Illinois,and nothing good will come of it.

  4. Does this mean that we will have to deal with big mouth Joe Walsh all the time now? For those of us that can’t stand his annoying voice and temper tantrums on the air by not listening to him – now he’ll be Mrs. Walsh’s attack dog? Wow! Another embarrassing chapter for Illinois conservatives on the brink.

  5. Is this one of those two for one deals like Hillary and Bill Clinton was? These are two very angry people that hate and publicly ridicule people that don’t march for them.
    Somehow I wonder if this appointment isn’t a reward to the Walshes from the Governor for NOT encouraging Walsh Freedom sheep to vote for Jeanne Ives in March. Heck, if they would have, Ives might have won, and we’d have a real conservative running for governor.

  6. So, you … “speak the truth as [you] see it” but you lambast Joe Walsh for the exact same thing? He’s complimented Donald Trump when he felt he earned it but he’s not a lockstep Republican, either. I admire that about him.

  7. The problem with Joe Walsh is that when speaking at Right to Life and other conservative menus he pronounces himself to be a Republican conservative, as he dubbed himself when he was first elected to Congress as part of the Tea Party wave in 2010. Joe wasn’t conservative then,and he’s not now. Joe will bend with the wind to please the crowd he is catering to. I don’t expect everyone to be in lockstep with President Trump, but Joe has gone of the deep end in his bombastic and unreasonable criticism of Trump, and Helene is but a political clone of her husband.

  8. I get it that she is ready to roll and has the backing of their organization; she has name recognition, is female which is a plus these days. Let’s hope she can win. The alternative is not a good choice.

  9. You are correct. Joe Walsh is not deep enough to have any philosophical roots. He is a raging madman who was the accidental congressman and was quickly and easily dispatched after one term in office. He was an embarrassment as a congresscritter.

  10. Margaret and Carl, both strong conservative Republicans, are friend of mine. It pains me when they are willing to accept what the Republicans establishment has ordained as good. Carl even called Helene a real Republicans, and Margaret brings up the what is used so often, we must accept someone because the alternate is not a good choice.
    Surely there were better candidates among those Lake County Republican chairman Mark Shaw had to choose from. The attitudes of Margaret and Carl is why those of us who call ourselves conservative Republicans have so little say in Illinois. We accept, being too afraid to fight back to protect the principle that we claim to hold and cherish. Helene IS NOT a certified Republican. She never was, and she never will be.

  11. How low can the GOP in this state go? Joe is all about Joe. A loony never-Trumper. He reminds me of the other loon named Joe – Joe Scarborough. I’m not surprised. I live in formerly-conservative DuPage County where the GOP County Chairman, Dan Cronin, absolutely gushes over Bruce Rauner.

  12. The opposition party should keep hammering with questions about comments her ridiculous husband has made and make her defend or disavow him. Make the campaign a referendum on Joe Walsh. The two have plotted every move together so the wise strategy is to pin her to his antics.

  13. Nancy-you are spot on. Her husband is doing irreparable harm to Trump with his over the top and flat out irresponsible rhetoric.
    Besides that-Mark Shaw is only co-chair of the IL GOP so he can whip up conservative votes for Rauner. He knew that Helene would be totally on board with that since good Ol’ Joe refused to endorse Ives.
    The whole thing is a sick joke on conservatives.

  14. I have always been Walsh supporters up until I made my opinion on the last conflict between Israel and unarmed Palestinians. It was not Helene’s position ( OF BLIND SUPPORT for Israel)that bothered me it was her vicious personnel attack towards me telling me to resign from the Republican Party and that I must be supporting MS-13. No one dare have a different opinion about Israel because the Walsh’s will skin you alive and take no prisoners. I will never accept that type of interaction. In addition I do believe there was a deal done to not support Jeanne Ives. For me that’s a no go. I am very sorry to say I am not happy with this placement and over all disgusted with the Republican Party of Illinois. I also suspect Stan Bond had a lot to say and he is a great supporter of the Walsh’s.