COLES COUNTY NEWS:

THE GATHERERS AND THE REPORTING

 Return to the Radio History Table of Contents

PART FOUR: 13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20   21  22  23  24  25  26  28  29  30  31  32  33  34


27. 

LEE LYNCH RUNS FOR REPRESENTATIVE

 

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 for office.

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 Hospital.

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 LEE LYNCH

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.

 


Return to the Radio History Home Page

 

Learning On-Line Home Page