Lawrence discusses run for Algonquin Township trustee
After playing a role in national politics last year, Rachael Lawrence decided to not only find ways to become involved in local politics, but encourage other people to do the same.
“When Donald Trump was nominated as our candidate for the Republican Party, I volunteered and was selected to serve as an official staff member for all four days of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, which was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life,” Lawrence told the McHenry Times.
Following the convention, Lawrence, 33, had an epiphany and realized that she needed to approach local politics with just as much passion and focus as she did national politics because local politics affects her more directly.
Soon after, Lawrence became involved with the Republican Party in her precinct and was recommended for commiteewoman for Algonquin's 3rd Precinct.
“I accepted that position and I worked toward getting to know my local representatives,” Lawrence said. “I met several prominent figures in McHenry County, in my local area, in my precinct, and they educated, me so to speak.”
Lawrence is married with three children, owns a home in unincorporated Algonquin Township, and hopes to lead by example.
“I wanted to inspire other people to get involved in local politics and be informed about local issues,” she said.
With experience serving on various committees, including nonprofit committees, Lawrence believes she has the right skillset to be effective in her community.
“(One) of the personal characteristics and skills that I could bring to the table is that I am bold,” Lawrence said. “I am unafraid to stand up to injustice (and) unafraid to bring to light issues that much of the public are not aware of.”
Other characteristics Lawrence says she has are being detail-oriented and open-minded.
“I haven’t joined a slate…up until recently I remained neutral on the race for (Algonquin) highway commissioner, which is highly contested and heated at the moment,” she said. “I had remained neutral because I happen to know both Bob Miller (incumbent) and Andrew Gasser personally.”
Lawrence and Gasser serve together on the Republican committee for Algonquin Township, and she knows Miller through mutual friends.
“I wanted to remain amicable with both parties because I wanted to be able to work effectively with whoever was elected,” Lawrence said.
However, when many residents in her precinct raised concerns about nepotism and the Miller family, Lawrence looked into the matter and eventually decided to support Gasser.
“When we have a third generation who is grooming his fourth generation; who hired two sons-in-law; who hired his wife at over a $90,000 salary and benefit package, that, in any rational person, would bring into question the appearance of impropriety,” Lawrence said.
Although townships were once a family affair, Algonquin Township has changed in the 51 years since the Miller family has been in charge, and residents are demanding change, she added.
Lawrence lived in Cary when I was younger and attended Maplewood Elementary School. Her family decided to move to Palatine, but Lawrence returned to Cary to be close to her brother and other family members about 14 years ago.
So far, Lawrence said the race so far has been very positive.
“We’ve had great luck,” she said. “We’ve had great donors and great support.”