GURNEE -- On July 29th, eight candidates for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination to replace outgoing U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald presented their ideas to the Lake County Republican Assembly. The meeting was attended by close to 200 people interested in hearing the candidates viewpoints as to why they should be elected as the new U.S. Senator from Illinois.
The Republican Assembly of Lake County was founded in 2001. The RALC hosted Tuesday evening's U.S. Senate forum in Gurnee.
One of the largest crowds ever gathered in the Gurnee Village Hall came to hear the views of eight candidates running for U.S. Senate in Illinois the evening of July 29, 2003.
The evening's forum moderator was Hal Coxon.
GOP candidates for U.S. Senate who participated in the candidate forum are: General John Borling, Ray Choudry, John Cox, Chirinjeev Kathuria, Tom McCracken, Andy McKenna, Jr, Steve Rauschenberger, and Jack Ryan.
Retired General John Borling referred to his military experience and connections in D.C., saying "I told Dick Meyers of the Joint Chiefs of Staff while he was at Chicago's July 4th parade that the work in Iraq begins now."

Borling brought chuckles from the audience when he told of a recent mistaken introduction when he was called "General Bor-ing."

Borling, at times gruff, and other times self-effacing, says he will make his decision whether or not to run after Labor Day, 2003. He came in second to Jack Ryan in the polling, with 22 votes.
During the question on internet sales taxes, a question arose as to whether Andy McKenna supported an internet sales tax.

His words were, "?For markets to be effective they ought to be fair and we ought to develop a method that does provide a fair way to collect the internet tax and distribute it to those states that are open. The internet is new technology and creates new complexities for us but I think that states should benefit from them which would be a fair way to approach it and technology should rise away to accomplish that.?

Mr. McKenna clarified his answer via phone today saying, "I do not support any new taxes. I am in support of the federal moratorium on internet sales taxes. Because states give businesses responsibility to collect sales tax, be it on the internet or otherwise, business should not shirk that responsibility and find the means to collect the taxes the state requires."
Ray Choudry is an attorney who says that he has lived and set up law practices throughout the state. "What we need to improve our schools is not money, it is discipline," Choudry told the crowd. On the economy and fair trade, he suggested trying to export areas of American expertise, such as construction crews, to build homes in foreign countries.

Choudry is fairly unknown to Republicans in the Chicago area, but Choudry says he is well known throughout the state -- in both GOP and Democrat circles.
Cox said that American businesses are unable to trade fairly because of all the U.S.-imposed regulations on businesses. "We want America to compete with one arm tied behind our backs," he said.

Kathuria said that NAFTA opened markets worldwide for farmers, increasing crop demand worldwide by 25%.

McCracken said he was for free trade, but not for "unfair" trade.
CPA/Attorney John Cox declared that he is the only 100% pro-life candidate in the race. Cox drew a rousing applause when he said, "Get the federal system out of education." "We need to find solutions, not just talk about problems," Cox said. Cox came in third in the straw poll.
Dr. Kathuria told the crowd that "only in America" could a man as "distinquished looking" as himself consider running for U.S. Senate. Kathuria said that he would do his best to do what he promised to do during the campaign.

Like Evita, he said, "I will keep my promise -- don't keep your distance."

He also said that in is very important for parents to be involved in the education of children, giving the example of Asian parents who demand a good academic education for their children.
Guy Garrison and Dorothy True kept close watch on the one-minute time limit for the candidates' answers.
McKenna said he believes that federal vouchers are not enough to give parents a choice in education. He encouraged credits to support children in public, private or home schools.

Rauschenberger, who has not yet declared himself as a candidate for the nomination, said the federal government has no business in local school. He said he is for removing federal mandates on education.

Ryan told of the success of Hales Franciscan High School where he taught for two years. Last year, Ryan said, 100% of the boys in the all-male school located near the Robert Taylor Homes, were accepted into college. Ryan said fathers were hard to find at Hales, and that there should be competition in areas where schools are not doing their task of providing kids with a good education.
Tom McCracken, former state lawmaker and RTA Chairman, "We need to return control of education to decision makers." In a slight swipe at his fellow candidates who have never been elected to public office, McCracken said that the U.S. Senate is not a "training ground" for political novices.
Rauschenberger quipped at one point that "Senator Dick Durbin is the Senator I would't want to be." Jack Ryan said, "America is at its best when stands up for those who cannot speak for themselves. . . " Ryan also said that he stands alone in the work and effort he has made into the minority community. As a teacher, Ryan worked within the Hales Franciscan school. He said, "None of these men can compete with what I have done while I worked among the poorest of the poor," a favorite saying of Ryan.
Colonel Raymond True, founder of the Assembly and host of the U.S. Senate forum. "Colonel True's name fits him well," candidate Jack Ryan told those who gathered to hear the straw poll results after the forum. "He is true to the Republican platform. My hat's off to you, Colonel, for your work with the Republican Assembly in Lake County."

The straw poll taken at the end of the forum was won by Jack Ryan with 33 votes and General John Borling with 22, and John Cox with 14.