Democrats talk to Buffalo Grove's Stone about 59th House seat

Published: 9/11/2009 12:05 AM

Buffalo Grove Trustee Lisa Stone, whose name recently surfaced as a possible Republican candidate for the 59th District seat once held by State Rep. Kathy Ryg, has also attracted interest from the Democrats.

Stone said she has spoken a couple of times with Shaw Decremer, a representative of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, about possibly being appointed to succeed Ryg.

"We talked at length last week about various different political issues," Stone said.

Decremer and State Sen. Terry Link, leader of the Lake County Democrats, confirmed her account. "We are seeking out all possibilities to make sure that when we announce the appointment of the replacement for Representative Ryg, that we have the person that we feel is the best possible replacement and the best possible candidate for re-election," said Link, who will carry the most weight in determining who is named.

When asked about the interest in Stone, Link said, "I could use a (play) on words, that 'you don't leave any Stone unturned' when you look for possible candidates." He said the search includes any elected officials, including members of school and park boards.

"She is one of many that are out there that we are looking at," he said. "I feel it is very difficult to replace Representative Ryg. I'll be quite honest with you."

Buffalo Grove Village President Elliott Hartstein, who was the first to express his wish to replace Ryg, "was another individual we interviewed," he said.

Recently, Stone spoke with House Republican leadership about Ryg's seat. During that conversation the possibility she might run as a Republican in the 2010 primary emerged.

Stone, who was just elected to her first term in Buffalo Grove, which is a nonpartisan position, said she agrees with Republicans on some issues, such as the death penalty in the case of heinous crimes, but she said that on social issues, such as abortion, she is usually with the Democrats.

"I think the majority of my beliefs clearly lean left," she said.

When Decremer called, Stone said, "I checked my caller ID and thought, 'Wow, what is going on?' It said 'Friends of Michael Madigan.' I was truly blown away. It was incredible to me."

She said the Democrats have until the end of the month to appoint someone.

Link and the township committeemen from Wheeling and Northfield townships will pick the person, but Link said input from House Speaker Madigan's office will also be weighed, "because this person will be a House member who will be part of the Speaker's House."