Ardis-Jenkins could drop from race

Karen McDonald

Republican candidate for 92nd District House seat Cindy ArdisJenkins is having second thoughts and is considering dropping out of the race, several GOP sources told the Journal Star.

Ardis-Jenkins, who announced two months ago her intentions to seek the seat currently held by state Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria, who is running for Congress, is citing family issues and being able to dedicate the necessary time to run the campaign as reasons for concern, said Rudy Lewis, chairman of the Peoria County Republican Party.

Ardis-Jenkins did not return phone calls for comment Thursday or Friday, but Lewis announced at a 2nd Ward Republican breakfast on Dec. 1 that she likely was bowing out, sources said.

Many have asked Ardis-Jenkins to reconsider; Lewis said he wants to give her that opportunity.

"I still give Cindy the benefit of the doubt, but I think right now we’re looking at she’s not going to run," Lewis said.

Ardis-Jenkins has not yet withdrawn her name from the Illinois State Board of Elections. That deadline is Wednesday.

The deadline to file as a write-in candidate already has passed.

The local Republican party has a contingent plan and replacement lined up should Ardis-Jenkins not run.

"It’s somebody who has worked with the people, somebody who people know and that will be ready to accept the burden of running," Lewis said. "It’s not easy."

The candidate is not a current elected official, thus avoiding a domino effect of replacements.

Ardis-Jenkins serves as Schock’s outreach coordinator and donor relations coordinator for the Children’s Home. She initially said she wanted to run to continue to help be a voice for the whole community.

Since Ardis-Jenkins’ initial announcement, many have suspected her run was only as a placeholder for Schock should he not make it past the Feb. 5 congressional primary. Then, she could drop out and he could step in.

Schock said the thought hadn’t even crossed his mind and "is not an option."

If Ardis-Jenkins does drop out, Lewis, as the only Republican county chairman in the 92nd District, has up to 60 days after the Feb. 5 primary to nominate a candidate for the November election.

If Ardis-Jenkins withdraws after Wednesday, she must ask the State Board of Election’s eight-member panel to approve it. If approved, the State Board would send an amended certification to municipalities and Peoria County, which encompass the 92nd District, noting the deletion. Then, it’s a matter of whether the clerks in the city of Peoria and Peoria County already printed their ballots as to whether there is time to get her name off.

Before Schock, the 92nd District had a long history of Democratic representation.The Republican nominee will face off against one of two Democrats, Peoria County Board member Allen Mayer, 35, and Jehan Gordon, 26, in the general election.

Karen McDonald can be reached at (309) 686-3285 or