Woodford County could become the second county in the 18th Congressional District to ask former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock to pony up for special election expenses. The county finance committee approved Monday a measure that will be taken before the full board next month that, if approved, will make a request to Schock to reimburse the county up to $125,000 in costs for a primary and election to replace him. Schock’s resignation became effective April 1, vacating the seat the Peoria Republican held in Congress for six years. His replacement must be selected by his constituents in a costly election not planned during the last budget cycle.
Woodford County Clerk Debbie Harms told the committee, which moved forward a resolution very similar to one passed last week in Marshall County, that she’s included an email chain with many of the county clerks from the district. Most of the affected counties, she reported, will consider a similar measure asking Schock to absorb the cost of his resignation.
Two of the five finance committee members raised concerns about the resolution establishing a dangerous precedent of putting outgoing public officials on the hook for costs related to their replacement.
Board member Mike Hinrichsen called the resolution “reactionary,” adding that he doubted Schock, who left office with about $3.3 million in campaign funds, would agree to pay the money.