A few days ago I made an endorsement of candidate Sam McCann in Illinois gubernatorial race. I called on the Christian community to take a stand, and get behind him. I believed he was a man of Christian conviction and integrity, something that has been missing in Illinois politicians, especially in the run for governor. I believed he was actually doing what I had prayed about doing. He was taking on the corrupt political machines of the Chicago Democrats and moderate Republicans. Both groups have marginalized Christian conservatives for decades. Hence, you can understand the enthusiasm one would feel believing in someone we thought would carry the torch and clearly articulate our principles, concerns, and issues. It was like the Chicago Cubs making it to the playoffs. And I’m a big Cubs fan.
Unfortunately, late yesterday afternoon (10/17) I got word that Sam had sent out a mailer critical of State Rep. Tom Morrison who is in a tight race to retain his seat in the Illinois general assembly. Rep.Tom Morrison is a model of what it means to be a Christian conservative. He is everything that Sam McCann claims to be. Tom is a pro-life, pro-natural family, small government, fewer taxes, economic growth advocate. He checks all the right boxes when it comes to Freedom’s Journal Institute’s (FJI) R.I.S.E. principles of Responsible government, Individual liberty & fidelity, Strong Family values, and Economic empowerment. Tom is also a solid believer. He unapologetically professes Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. And, he one is of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. He has supported a majority of the Summits Freedom’s Journal has held here in the Chicagoland area, and most of all I consider State Representative Tom Morrison my friend.
After hearing that Senator McCann was going to send out mailers attacking Rep. Morrison, I was incredulous. I could not believe Sam would do something so foolish. I promptly reached out to him via text to see if this was true. Here is that exchange:
Wallace: Hey brother people are saying that your campaign is going to attack Tom Morrison. Is that true?
McCann: We are calling out Rauner enablers. Anyone who publicly denounced their affiliation with Rauner, we will not only not mail against, we will publicly endorse.
Wallace: Tom is a friend, and said he would [might] be willing to support me if I ran as an independent. He is a strong brother in the Lord and has the strong backing of David Smith. If you attack Tom, you’ll lose David’s backing. Morrison is not a supporter of Rauner. You’ll make a big mistake if you do this. Focus on your race, and don’t create more enemies.
McCann: If Tom will publicly say he isn’t supporting Rauner, we will endorse him.
Wallace: He doesn’t need your endorsement, you need his. This isn’t the way to get it. You need friends, not enemies. Most of the GOP will stick with Rauner cause they don’t think you can win. We have to convince them otherwise, but not this way. He is a pro-life champion. You could lose all your pro-life endorsements if you attack him. You need to count the cost on this one cause I’m not happy about it either. You have a chance to win. If you do this, you’ll lose support. I guarantee it. And you’ll put me in a difficult position to retract my support. You need him. He doesn’t need you to win. Attack Rauner, Madigan, and JB.
McCann: Eric, I respect and appreciate you personally and professionally. I don’t want to lose you, but if that is what you feel called by God to do, I want you to follow your conscience. I am following mine by calling those out who have propped up Rauner for five years.
We won’t win by being timid. We will win by picking up five smooth stones and taking out Goliath with a spirit of boldness. Be blessed, my brother.
Wallace: Sorry, but that was a bad move. You angered a lot of people with that piece. Tom is a good man and someone you would’ve needed in the general assembly if you won. Now you’ve alienated people who would have considered you. You never attack a fellow conservative, and brother in Christ. David has retracted his support. George Pearson is doing the same. And, so am I. I’m so disappointed in your decision to do this. I hear Jeanne Ives is writing a statement also. Fran will roast you on IR. I’m still praying for you.
The last interaction with Sam was after I found out that the mailer had already been mailed, and I received a copy from a friend. I was heartbroken, to say the least. It was like the Cubs early exit from the playoffs this year—all the hopes and aspirations of victory had gone entirely down the drain. I am disappointed in Sam’s lack of integrity and focus on his campaign. I am also concerned about Rep. Tom Morrison’s race to retain his seat.
Furthermore, I’m embarrassed that I endorsed this guy; and frustrated that I didn’t see this coming. Admittedly, I am also sad and troubled that there is no one and I mean “no one” in the Governor’s race for conservatives to get behind. Ironically, I believe this is a consequence of our own making—for far too long the Christian community has failed to stand for what we believe by supporting and voting for those who share our values. But that’s another issue, for another FJI op-ed article.