Variety would spice up Illinois primary

Yawn.

Whoa. That was quite a nap. I feel totally disoriented.

What was I doing before I fell asleep?

Oh, that's right. I was listening to the news about how few voters are interested in Tuesday's Illinois primary and ...

Sorry. Didn't mean to make you yawn too.

Anyway, while I was listening to the news about how nobody is paying attention to the election, I nodded off. And I had the weirdest dream.

In my dream, four candidates for Illinois governor were lined up on a stage.

Candidate No. 1 was named Trudi. She was tall, 50-something and, thanks to a yoga-studio empire that she built by ruthlessly putting little yoga studios out of business, a zillionaire. She kept deflecting comments about her wealth by pointing to her earrings, which she claimed she bought at Target.

Candidate No. 2 was Fran. A no-nonsense type, she might have given Trudi a run for her money, but she has been dogged by allegations that she harassed a female subordinate. Fran insisted that's a lie concocted by Trudi.

Then there was Brooke. A meat-and-potatoes kind of gal. Career politician, proud of it. And galled that Trudi, who knows as much about state government as Brooke knows about lotus pose, had bought her way into first place in the race.

And the fourth candidate was. Oh, gee, what was her name? Neatly dressed. Ran for governor once before. Never mind. She's not going to win this time either.

The women were debating when my eyes snapped open and I floated briefly back into reality, but the radio was still droning on about the election nobody cares about so I dozed off again.

This time my dream focused on a fifth candidate, standing just offstage.

She'd be running against whichever of the other four won the primary. Middle-aged, unmarried, a little dorky, but some guys were known to find her kind of sexy. Her name was Pat.

I heard Pat mutter the name "Lisa" but before I could figure out why, or Lisa who, I woke up.

Wow. What a freaky dream. Can you imagine?

Five women? Running for governor? Of Illinois?

No way. But how much more interesting this all-male race would be if even a couple of them were. I guarantee voters would be more engaged.

Explanations abound for why there's so little interest in this week's election: Primaries rarely motivate voters. Voters have been too busy digging out of winter to focus. The candidates themselves are as exciting as a gray day.

But there's another reason so few people are engaged, and it's as simple as this: All the candidates look the same. They all belong to the same club, one whose members are white, middle-aged and male.

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