Jim Ryan taps senator to be running mate

Friday, November 30, 2001

CHICAGO -- Attorney General Jim Ryan named state Sen. Carl Hawkinson as his running mate in the GOP race for governor on Thursday, a pairing one of Ryan's opponents called too conservative and the other not conservative enough.

Ryan said he and his campaign director interviewed more than a dozen people but chose Hawkinson, 54, of Galesburg because of his long record of public service and his strong principles.

"He is a person who is a man of his word, he's a person of integrity and he certainly is a person who is intelligent and makes good decisions," Ryan said.

Hawkinson, a former Knox County state's attorney and state representative, has served in the state Senate since 1987. He lost a bid for the Illinois Supreme Court to Rock Island attorney Tom Kilbride last year.

The senator said he was "humbled and honored" to be Ryan's choice.

"I know his principles. I know his values. I know his family. I have admired them and supported him for years," Hawkinson said.

Both of Ryan's opponents, Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood and state Sen. Patrick O'Malley, acknowledged that Hawkinson is a respected lawmaker. But they questioned whether he and Ryan are too similar to appeal as a duo to the majority of Republican voters.

Wood said Hawkinson is an "ideological clone" of Ryan on issues including abortion, which both men oppose, and could alienate more moderate voters. Wood supports abortion rights.

"I don't know how having a lieutenant governor candidate like Carl Hawkinson, well-respected as he is, broadens the base of the party at all," she said.

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