LEE LYNCH RUNS FOR OFFICE
In 1950, Lee, who did not have the best health,
decided to run for public office. He chose to run
for a seat as representative in the 67th General
Assembly, as a Democrat. The public knew Lee well
through his old WDZ programs, his current WLBH
programs and the weekly column in the Daily News.
Lee also made lots of personal appearances in
various area functions.
In addition to all this, he was famous for a friendly
one-to-one chat on the street. His wife, Emily,
helped him to gather the news for his various
reporting methods. Lee's radio shows were on at 1:00
P.M. on Sundays. In 1951, he would be on daily
from 8:30-8:45 A.M.
Lee ran as a Democrat in a very Republican area with John
Lewis was his main opponent. People were fed up with
Springfield politicians not funding projects in the
Central Illinois area.
DAILY NEWS EDITORIALIZES ON LACK OF FUNDING
John Rardin, in his "This and That" column also complained
of the unfairness of state government in not giving
the Charleston and Coles County area money for
bridges and roads. The DAILY NEWS was a strong
Democrat editorializing publication. Perhaps John
Rardin was a big influence on Lee's decision to run
LEE WINS ELECTION BY A LANDSLIDE
The November 7th election of 1950 would find Lee Lynch way
ahead in the vote count. John Lewis would end up
second and Waltrip would come in third. Lee Lynch
had broken a very old tradition in Coles County and
the area-He Won! Along with this, he broke the
record on number of votes (17,918 votes) Lee's
political future looked very promising.
RARDIN EDITORIAL RECOMMENDS "CALL REP. LEE LYNCH TO HELP
WIN STATE MONEY FOR CENTRAL ILLINOIS
Finally, John Rardin had a hand in the future of his area.
His friend and fellow news-man was now the
representative in the area. Lee would be appointed
to the education, industry and labor relations;
personnel and pensions and roads and bridges
committees. Lee was a very popular
legislator in Springfield. During his few months
in office, he developed high respect and esteem.
LEE STRUCK DEAD WHILE IN SESSION
While Lee was debating the building of a new route from
Charleston to Champaign-Urbana, he became very ill
at his desk. The House doctor was called in and
called an ambulance to take Lee to St. John's
Emily would be notified and brought to Springfield by the
State Police. She would be at his side. He died June
11, 1951. The doctors said that Lee had a cerebral
hemorrhage at his floor desk. Monies for that
highway were passed, and Rte. 130 was built from
Charleston to Urbana.
A SPECIAL RESOLUTION AND HOUSE RECESS MEMORIALIZES
State government was shocked by the death of their fellow
legislator. A special resolution was passed by both
houses of the Assembly. A three-day recess would be
held to allow members to attend his funeral. Adlai
Stevenson, Sr. was governor of Illinois at the time.
The Illinois Blue Book has an obituary of Lee Lynch,
as well as descriptions of his political career. A
copy of the special resolution is in this book.
Governor Stevenson sent a representative to the
funeral. Such state dignitaries as Alan Dixon, Paul
Powell and many others attended Lee's funeral at
Charleston's St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.