Republican nominee may have a new challenger, as Dee Beaubien announced that she plans to continue the legacy of her late husband and run as an independent for 52nd district State Representative.
Dee Beaubien is the widow of former .
Kent Gaffney was appointed to finish the rest of Beaubien's term but lost in the Republican primary to McSweeney.
Dee Beaubien told a room of about 50 supporters that she did not run in the Republican primary because it was still too soon after husband's death.
"It's going to be a huge challenge and a uphill battle," Beaubien said Monday at the in Barrington.
Beaubien hasn't begun her official campaign because she is not on the ballot. She needs 1,500 signatures by June 24 to get her name on the ballot but Beaubien plans to get 3,000.
"We are doing really well," said Andy Jones, a petition coordinator for Dee Beaubien. "We have a lot of support from friends and family in the district."
Donna Kurtz, Republican McHenry County board member said she is a product of the Beaubien family. "It was Mark's ability to work across the aisle," she said. "We refused to let that memory slip away, we refused to settle for anything less."
"We know Dee has the intelligence and the ability to be the State Rep," Kurtz said.
Beaubien said as she has collected signatures, people have expressed anger with the state's mismanagement of the budget.
Her priorities include passing a balanced budget every year, opposing new taxes and fostering an environment that encourages business growth and creates jobs.
When asked about the difference between herself and McSweeney, Beaubien said, "He's not a community person, he drops out of sight until he has to run for office again."
When McSweeney learned of Beaubien's announcement, he told the Northwest Herald that he was going to focus on his message and he's honored to be the Republican nominee for State Representative.
Beaubien holds a bachelor’s and master's degree in counseling psychology from Northwestern University. She worked in family counseling and the mental health field for 30 years before retiring in 2008 to focus on community service.
She currently serves on the foundation board of Hospice and Palliative Care of Northeastern Illinois and the advisory boards of Barrington Youth Services, Barrington Area Council on aging and the Mano a Mano Family Resource center.
"It's not about me, it's about the people," Beaubien said.